A French financial company, which will stand guarantor for banks lending money for the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri, has decided to review the environment impact assessment (EIA) report of the project, said Greenpeace on Tuesday.
According to Greenpeace, the French company, Coface, has outsourced the EIA review to US-based Environmental Resource Management and Enconet from Austria. “They will review the EIA report and submit their views to Coface in about a month,” said Karuna Raina, nuclear and energy campaigner, Greenpeace.
The EIA report prepared by the National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI) formed the basis for granting environmental clearance for the plant in December.
The international NGO also said that two German banks, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, have decided to cancel their participation in the Jaitapur project.
But refuting all claims, officials from the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) said they had invited banks to give an expression of interest to participate in financing the Jaitapur project last year. “But we had not approached Commerzbank or Deutsche Bank. Seven other large banks have shown interest and talks are in progress,” said J K Ghai, director finance, NCPIL.
“NPCIL will choose the banks based on its terms and conditions,” said CB Jain, project manager of the Jaitapur plant. “As for the EIA report, we have made it clear to the guarantor that the clearance is based on our Environment Act and the parameters will be different for different countries. This is a normal procedure.”
Last year, Greenpeace ran a campaign and contacted various banks that are part of the consortium to reconsider their decision to finance the project. “We understand that the banks are reviewing the matter,” said Raina.
“However, Commerzbank said via email that they have decided not to invest citing sustainability and reputational risk. We have also written to JP Morgan bank and Citibank.”
While Greenpeace refused to divulge the contents of the confidential email from Deutsche Bank, Raina said, “The bank decided not to invest taking into consideration the EIA report prepared by NEERI, lack of long term nuclear waste disposal policy and local opposition.”