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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ethiopia: JPMorgan Chase urged to reject loan for dam

JPMorgan Chase has come under pressure to refuse to provide a loan for the controversial Gilgel Gibe III hydropower dam in Ethiopia.

Three NGOs – Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale in Italy, Les Amis de la Terre in France and International Rivers in the US – have written to the US bank to urge it to refuse a $400 million commercial loan request from the Ethiopian government in connection with the project, which they say would violate the bank’s environmental policy.

The 1,870MW dam is already under construction by Italian firm Salini, at an estimated cost of €1.4 billion ($2.1 billion), and would be the third stage in a project to dam the Gilgel Gibe River for hydropower. The Italian export credit agency SACE has refused to guarantee the project.(More...)