Castor Underground gas storage project (2015-2016)
Client: European Investment Bank
The EIB Complaints Mechanism is a vital tool of horizontal accountability of the EIB Group vis-à-vis its stakeholders as regards the handling of complaints concerning its activities. It provides the public with a tool enabling alternative and pre-emptive resolution of disputes between the latter and the EIB.
In December 2013, the European Investment Bank Complaints Mechanism (EIB-CM) received a complaint from the Plataforma Ciutadana en Defensa de les Terres del Sènia (PCDTS) concerning the Bank's financing of the Castor Underground Gas Storage project. The complainants submitted a series of allegations concerning, but not limited to, the possible maladministration of the Bank in assessing the environmental, social and industrial security risks of the project. In addition, the complainants challenged aspects of the economic assessment of the project, including the regulatory framework, procurement of licences and permits provided to the promoter and the demand forecasts. Finally, the complainant expressed concerns regarding the future use of the plant as well as the use by the Bank of the project bond instrument as a vehicle to finance the project and the consequences on the Spanish public to repay the failed investment via energy bills.
The objective of this project was to perform an independent review and assessment of the compliance of the Bank's due diligence and subsequent monitoring of the environmental and social impacts concerning the Castor Underground Gas Storage.