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    Reference: SG/E/2022/03
    Received Date: 25 January 2022
    Subject: Small Hydropower Projects (Serbia)
    Complainant: Bankwatch Network and Ecological Association Rzav
    Allegations: Alleged negative impacts of the project on animal species, habitats and water, in addition to alleged violation of European and national legal frameworks
    Type: E - Environmental and social impacts of financed projects
    Outcome*: Recommendation and suggestion for improvement.
    Suggestions for improvement: yes
    Dispute Resolution*

    * Admissibility date reflects the date the case was officially registered. All other dates pertain to the date in which a stage was completed.

    Case Description

    The complaint pertains to the construction of two SHPPs on the Crni Rzav river. The sub-projects were co-financed by the EIB via two intermediated loans (loans for SMEs) approved in 2012 and 2014.

    The Initial Assessment carried out in 2022 established the following allegations in relation to the two sub-projects (Beli Kamen SHPP and Komali SHPP):

    1.       Lack of environmental impact assessment.

    2.       Lack of stakeholder consultations.

    3.       Lack of due diligence of intermediated financing for the operations.

    The investigation focused on the project documentation made available and the environmental and social due diligence conducted by the Bank in relation to the allegations, as identified in the initial assessment report.

    All allegations for the Beli Kamen SHPP were found to be ungrounded. Allegation 1 regarding the Komalj SHPP sub-project was found to be grounded, while allegations 2 and 3 were dismissed as not grounded.

    In light of the reported findings, the EIB-CM issued a recommendation and suggestions for improvement in the context of its intermediated lending.