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    Reference: SG/E/2013/09
    Received Date: 16 July 2013
    Subject: Puerto de Sevilla
    Complainant: Confidential
    Allegations: Negative environmental impacts of the deep dredging of Guadalquivir river
    Type: E - Environmental and social impacts of financed projects
    Outcome*: Areas 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


    In July 2013, the the EIB Complaints Mechanism (EIB-CM) received a complaint concerning the EIB's funding of the Port of Seville in Spain. The EIB had granted a EUR 100 million loan in 2006 to the Autoridad Portuaria de Sevilla to finance their medium term investment programme. This investment programme originally included two components - (i) a new entry lock and (ii) the deep dredging of the Guadalquivir River. The EIB only considered the first component for financing and appraised it as a "standalone project". The complainants alleged that the EIB failed to properly assess the global environmental impact of the project as well as the dredging works of the Guadalquivir River and its impact in the Doriana National Park, an important natural reserve declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. According to the complainants, the new entry-lock financed by the EIB and the dredging of the Guadalquivir are under no circumstance two projects independent of each other (as the EIB considered at the time of appraisal), but rather one and the same overall project.

    EIB-CM Action

    The EIB-CM has performed its compliance review.

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    The EIB-CM has concluded that the allegation that the EIB failed to assess the global environmental impact is not grounded as the EIB’s documents for decision included the environmental analysis of both project components.

    Concerning the allegation of unduly splitting the project scope, the EIB-CM has found that the EIB followed the standard practice in assessing investment loans, focusing on the technical, economic and, to a large extent, environmental aspects. From the EIB-CM’s perspective, the EIB can define the scope of its financing as long as it meets its investment criteria.

    The EIB’s loan for the new lock has been fully disbursed and the investment has been completed. However, and given the public interest of the existing controversy and the indirect relation with the EIB’s investment, the EIB-CM recommends the EIB to follow up closely during the remaining life of the loan the controversy around the dredging works.

    Project Information