In July 2007 the Government of Albania approved the construction of a cement factory in the municipality of Kruja, 30 kilometres north of the capital Tirana. The investor, Antea Cement, a subsidiary of Greeces TITAN Cement Group, completed the construction of the plant and started production in January 2010. The plant is the second in close vicinity to and the third located in the municipality of Kruja. The project features Chinese technology with equipment from the manufacturer and contractor CBMI Construction Co. Ltd., which required bringing up to 700 Chinese workers to the site.
In order to prevent the collapse of the banking sector in central and eastern Europe following the outbreak of economic crisis conditions in autumn 2008, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a large number of loans to private banks in the region. Yet even though this form of lending is taking on ever greater importance at the EBRD, next to no concrete details about what it is achieving and who is benefiting from it exist for the public.
Although the Nabucco gas pipeline is still nothing more than an idea on the drawing board it has attracted unprecedented political support and managed to swallow millions of euros of EU taxpayer's money without an assessment of its effect on transit and gas supplying countries. CEE Bankwatch network urges the EBRD to properly assess all impacts it may have on societies and the environment and to consider financing alternative ways to ensure energy security, namely by energy efficiency measures.
Both the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank approved loans for the D1 motorway Phase I project in Slovakia, which seeks to link the economically wealthier western part of Slovakia with the less developed eastern part. The project is to be financed through a public-private partnership (PPP), which has been the cause of considerable controversy in Slovakia, as has the fact that the planned route impacts protected Natura 2000 areas.
On March 9, 2010, a loan for the Tbilisi Railway Bypass Project, initiated by the Georgian Railway company, was approved by the EBRD. The main goal of this project, rated category A by the EBRD, is to construct a new section of railway that bypasses the central part of Tbilisi in order to avoid the transit of hazardous freight (such as oil and oil products) through the middle of the city.
While this main goal is welcomed, there are several strong concerns that undermine the project goals and may cause a serious threat to Tbilisis population.
In 2008 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a USD 15 million senior loan for the USD 17 million Azer-Yod LLC iodine manufacturing project in Azerbaijan. While the majority of the plants products will be exported, the lives of locals are made worse than they already are because of environmental problems caused by the iodine plant.
For three years already ArcelorMittal Temirtau (AMT), financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has been implementing the USD 100 million Mittal Steel Temirtau - Coal Mine Modernisation project that was approved by the bank in 2007.
The removal and resettlement of the informal Gazela settlement from beneath the Gazela Bridge on highway Corridor X over the Sava River in Belgrade's downtown took place in August 2009. Despite the involvement of international financial institutions (the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank) and foreign development
agencies (the European Agency for Reconstruction and the UK Department for International Development), the resettlement has not brought satisfactory results.
The statement, signed by 48 civil society organisations calls on international financial institutions to stop using public resources to subsidize the fossil fuel industry. These subsidies fuel overconsumption in wealthy countries, benefit an already highly profitable and well-established industry, and exacerbate many of the most urgent problems facing humanity today, not the least of which is climate change.
In this issue: Wise up! European Development Bank red herring masks critique of EIB's external operations * The case for cyanide in Bulgaria's gold mines kicked out * Lost in transition * New EU funds report and website * EU funds sinking in Latvia's enduring crisis swamp * Charge of the electricity brigade against villagers in Ukraine * Will the World Bank be rewarded for business as usual or put to the test to stop climate-damaging development? * Belene in and out of the grip of Russia * IFI
The Italian energy giant Enel is planning to construct a coal-fired thermal power plant consisting of two 800 MW units at Porto Romano near the city of Durres in Albania. If constructed this would be the largest investment in the history of the Albanian energy industry. Eighty five percent of the electricity produced would be exported to Italy.