December 15, 2016
A new Bankwatch study reveals a worrying track record of criminal and corrupt activities among the companies that are building Europe’s flagship gas pipeline project, the Southern Gas Corridor.
by Sven Haertig-Tokarz, cross-posted from the Bankwatch blog.
The Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500 kilometre system of pipelines meant to bring gas from Azerbaijan into Europe, is the pet project of the European Union in the energy sector. It is presented as a panacea for all ills: reducing Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, contributing to the move away from coal, and bringing energy and business to the poorer southeastern Europe. The USD 45 billion project is set to benefit from some of the biggest loans in the history of European public banks.
Whether this gargantuan fossil fuels project indeed serves the public interest – in Europe and beyond – is a major bone of contention. But, as a new Bankwatch report (pdf) reveals, this pipeline is set to benefit a host of companies and individuals with a particularly shady history.
The report “Risky business” looks at the companies contracted to build the sections of the Southern Gas Corridor in Italy, Greece and Turkey and finds a worrying track record of corruption. In several cases, construction companies and their executives have been convicted on different charges, or they are currently facing criminal investigation and prosecution.
If proponents and potential financiers of the project don’t see a problem in pumping billions of euros into a massive fossil fuel project that contradicts Europe’s committments under the Paris Agreement, they must at least realise that the mega-pipeline shapes up to be a breeding ground for corporate misbehaviour. Several companies involved so far have shown that they don’t shy away from dodgy deals.
Browse many details in an interactive presentation by clicking the image below or read some of the highlights at http://bankwatch.org/risky-business
Download the study at http://bankwatch.org/sites/default/files/risky-business.pdf
Find more background about the project at: http://bankwatch.org/our-work/projects/southern-gas-corridor-euro-caspian-mega-pipeline