|European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to Make the Same Mistake Twice?|
Press release from:
Campaigners Urge Bank not to Support South Caucasus Pipeline
Human rights and environmental campaigners  today urged the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) not to provide support for BP's South Caucasus Gas Pipeline (SCP), a parallel project to the hugely controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. The SCP pipeline follows the path of the BTC project through Azerbaijan and Georgia and ends at the city of Erzurum in central Turkey.
The Executive Directors of the EBRD are due to vote today on whether to grant up to £150 million to the South Caucasus pipeline. In a letter to the EBRD Directors, the groups pointed out that basic research and documentation for the project has not yet been completed.
No Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the basic evaluation of the damage a project will do and how to limit it, has been compiled for the Turkish section of the SCP pipeline. Moreover, the EIAs for Azerbaijan and Georgia are almost two years old, sparking accusations from campaigners that BP has failed to take local people's views into account.
"The data for the South Caucasus Pipeline, which is incomplete in any case, all comes from before BP started to build the Baku-Ceyhan project. There's no doubt that local people would be a lot better informed now about their rights and the cumulative impacts of having two pipelines cross their land," said Kerim Yildiz of the Kurdish Human Rights Project. "There's no way BP can claim to have got affected people's consent to this project as it now stands."
Campaigners also noted that since EBRD ignored their concerns and granted £150 million to the BTC project in November 2003, the project has been mired in claims that BP misled its funders by failing to disclose alleged problems with joint coating and procurement fraud .
"How can EBRD be confident that BP has told them everything, given the company's track record, when the basic documents aren't even there?" asked Nicholas Hildyard of the Corner House. "This is a fundamental test of EBRD's due diligence: will they make BP do the basic work needed to ensure that this pipeline meets their standards, or will they leave themselves open to further accusations of being little more than an unquestioning source of subsidy for multinational corporations?"
For further information please contact:
Anders Lustgarten, Baku-Ceyhan Campaign, 07973164363
 The concerns were voiced by the Baku-Ceyhan Campaign, a coalition of NGOs set up to monitor the design and implementation of BP's Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus Gas (SCP) Pipelines. The coalition includes PLATFORM, Friends of the Earth, the Kurdish Human Rights Project and the Corner House.
 'BP accused of cover up over pipeline deal', Sunday Times, Insight Team, February 15 2004, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1001669,00.html The Baku-Ceyhan Campaign submitted a report to the EBRD prior to its decision to fund the BTC project, alleging no fewer than 173 violations of mandatory World Bank standards, EU directives and local law in the Turkish section of the project alone. EBRD declined to acknowledge the report in any detail.