The people of Nuweiba have an additional reason to celebrate this New Year with the announcement today that the power station planned for the South Sinai region has been blocked.

The European Investment Bank has declined a $320 million loan to finance the project amidst considerable pressure from environmental campaigners, investors and other stakeholders to properly consider the impact of its implementation on the local community, environment and tourism in the region.

Campaigners were shocked that the Egyptian Government appeared to be disregarding points from the 1994 Law for the Environment and that once again, the prospect of economic gain had seemingly overshadowed any environmental or social concerns.

On understanding that an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment, which is required by the Ministry of Environment for any project approval and permits) was not issued by the project managers, a group of experts were commissioned on behalf of HEPCA and other campaigners to comprehensively assess the situation and present a report to the parties involved. We also aggressively lobbied for a public hearing (also a legal requirement) in order to assess the consent of the local community and other stakeholder groups.

We would like to thank the people and communities of Nuweiba, and all those who actively added their voice to this campaign and successfully achieved the obstruction of this project.

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy is now believed to be looking at an alternative site to Nuweiba. Environmental campaigners will be watching closely to see what is proposed in the future.

*HEPCA wishes our supporters a happy and successful New Year.*

Source: Email announcement by Hepca – 1 January 2010