Index for February 2006

Volume 5, Issue 2

  • (ECA Watch, Paris, 23 Feb. 2006) The OECD's working group on ECAs is due to meet March 2-3 to take up negotiations on an enhanced Action Statement on Bribery and ECAs. As noted in our November 2005 What's New, the G8 countries in July 2005 committed to strengthening anti-bribery requirements for companies applying for export credits and credit guarantees. However, OECD ECAs have not been able to reach a consensus to-date, with Germany and Japan blocking agreement, according to internal documents cited in a 15 Feb. 2006 Financial Times article.
  • (JCN Newswire, Tokyo, 8 Feb. 2006) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. has received a full-turnkey order from Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), headquartered in Mexico City, for the construction of a supercritical-pressure coal-fired power plant. Mitsubishi will build the generator, and Techint of Italy will be in charge of procurement and construction of the coal handling and ash treatment systems. Export credit will likely be furnished by Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).
  • (Reuters, Oslo/Helsinki, 6 Feb. 2006) Norwegian shipbuilder Aker Yards has won the biggest ever commercial ship order, clinching a 900 million euros ($1.1 billion) order from U.S.-Norwegian Royal Caribbean Cruises for a huge new cruise ship to be built in Aker's Turku yard in Finland. The deal depends on purchase and credit guarantees, in which Finnish export credit agency Finnvera and the Finnish state have a central role.
  • (Turkish Daily News, Istanbul, 4 Feb. 2006) Türk Eximbank aims to provide loans and guarantees to Turkey's export sector this year totaling near $8.6 billion, said Trade Minister Kürþad Tüzmen in Ankara yesterday.
  • (Germanwatch, Berlin, 3 Feb. 2006) Following a key legal challenge to the secrecy of the German Economics Ministry, the climate change impacts of German export credits will soon have to be disclosed. The legal challenge was brought by campaign groups Germanwatch and BUND/Friends of the Earth, Germany.
  • (WEED, Berlin, The scandalous Ilisu dam project in Turkey is coming to a crucial stage. At the end of 2005, an updated environmental impact assessment and resettlement action plan were published by the consortium and applications for export credit insurance were filed in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. NGO analysis , which were submitted to the ECAs on Feb. 20th, shows that the new documents are seriously flawed and the project is far from meeting the international standards it claims to observe.
  • (Both Ends, Amsterdam, 31 Jan. 2006) Dutch NGO Both ENDS has been informed by the Dutch Export Credit Agency (ECA) Atradius-DSB that it decided not to approve the application for an export credit insurance for the financing of the Setusamudram Shipping Channel Project.
  • (Both Ends, Amsterdam, 14 Feb. 2006) A comparison of the data for 2004 and 2005 shows that last year Atradius' business has been extremely good: they underwrote 43 projects in 2004, it provided an export credit insurance for 75 projects in 2005: an increase of 174%.
  • (Dow Jones Newswires, 10 Feb. 2006 ) - Several new warnings have come out about Shell's Sakhalin II project's threat to the environment.  Among the new information revealed is that a shipping vessel (from the same company that gave Sakhalin the Cristoforo Colombo oil spill accident) had a collision with a Shell oil platform in 2005, highlighting Shell's inadequate shipping safety practices.  The Sakhalin II project is seeking up to USD $5B from the EBRD, and from the ECAs of the US, UK, and Japan.
  • (CEDHA, Argentina, 23 Jan. 2006) Nearly 40 000 Argentine citizens have petitioned the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, alleging that the Uruguayan government has allowed serious breaches of human rights caused by two pulp mills. The largest of the mills is sponsored by three Finnish pulp and paper companies, Botnia, Metsaliitto and UPM, and is backed by Finnvera, the official, state owned export credit agency of Finland. The mills, located on the international waterway between Uruguay and Argentina, breach IFC operational policy, OECD Guidelines and violate international law, recently triggering Argentina to bring a case before International Court of Justice at the Hague.