Stop the Destruction of Nuweiba and its Coral Reefs!


Strong Objection to the Nuweiba Power Plant Project in South Sinai planned by the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and to be financed by the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.


We kindly ask for to join us in combating a serious situation that is arising in Nuweiba!


We, and other investors, residents and workers in Nuweiba, have, over the past couple of days, just learned of the plans of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to build a very large power plant, (750Mw gas powered turbines on a site of 105000 square metres - towering over 82 metres in height), in the middle of Nuweiba City, South Sinai, Egypt. 


Financing is reportedly to be forthcoming from the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank, (even though procedures of the banks and of the European Union for the granting of such financing have not been properly adhered to).


Furthermore, we were dismayed and shocked to hear that this project has been approved by the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency.

Less than a week after receiving the EIA study, without proper study of the EIA report by ministry experts, the minister of environment approved the project due to strong pressure from the minister of Electricity complimentary.


If such a plant proceeds, it will have a disastrous effect on the local tourism industry, on the local Bedouin population and, above all, on the local environment.


Nuweiba is one of the most picturesque parts of the whole southern Sinai Peninsula, has an excellent and unique tourism potential, is home to two major Sinai Bedouin tribes, and has an almost unique, relatively undisturbed underwater marine life.


Apart from the obvious enormous detrimental effects such a project will have on the local environment and population during the construction period, once operational, the plant will have a negative impact on the quality of air, will reduce the level of sunlight, increase noise pollution and, above all, will damage seriously and irreparably the marine life and coral reefs that lie all along the east coast of Nuweiba adjacent to where the plant is planned to be built. The increase in water temperature will damage the aquatic life in Nuweiba in a number of ways, most prominently by causing a rapid reduction in the number of different fish species found here, causing the death of some and by forcing others to move to distant stretches of reef, but also by inducing coral bleaching and rapidly increasing the amount of algae in the water. This effect will initially be localised to the reefs in the immediate vicinity of the plant, but will, over time, extend to destroy more and more of the reefs in Nuweiba and further afield.


Such a large power plant will also cause the eventual demise of the local tourist industry and subsequently force the closure of the hotels, dive centres and other tourist service providers in the area, resulting in the loss of jobs for the many workers within the tourism industry and the loss of livelihood for the various local businesses that supply products and services to the tourism industry in Nuweiba. Tourism is a major source of income for the local Bedouin tribes so the effects on the loss of this industry are simply unimaginable.


We kindly and respectfully ask your assistance in putting pressure on the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, the South Sinai Governorate, the European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank and the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency immediately to withhold approvals for this project pending full investigations, in co-ordination with internationally recognised environmental protection agencies, as well as to hold full disclosure meetings and consultation with local residents, businesses and NGOs as this has apparently not be done. The proposers of this project did place an advertisement in Al Ahram Newspaper, (a single, 1/8th page, insertion on the 8th April 2009 with very brief details on the project and with the instructions that any interested parties should visit certain offices either in Cairo, 470 km away, or Ismaileya, 400 km distant, or attend a meeting on the 15th April 2009 in Sharm el Sheikh, 160 km), but made no other serious attempts to advise, consult or inform the local community.  


If you love and wish to preserve the beauty of Nuweiba, we suggest that you sign this petition and file your complaints to the following email addresses:


Prime Minister%u2019s Office, Arab Republic of Egypt primemin@idsc.gov.eg

Minister of Tourism, Arab Republic of Egypt zgarranah@tourism.gov.eg

Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency mseaoffice@eeaa.gov.eg mawaheb@eeaa.gov.eg

African Development Bank afdb@afdb.org investigations@afdb.org

European Investment Bank cairo@eib.org investigations@eib.org complaints@eib.org

Al Ahram Weekly Newspaper weeklymail1@ahram.org.eg


Also, please raise this matter with the Embassy of Egypt in your country, and, if possible, with the international press.


We need your support more than ever!


Strong Objection to the Nuweiba Power Plant Project in South Sinai planned by the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and to be financed by the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.


 


Dear Sirs.


We, and other investors, residents and workers in Nuweiba, have just, over the past couple of days, learned of the plans of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to build a very large power plant, ( 750Mw gas powered turbines on a site of 105000 square metres ), in the middle of Nuweiba, South Sinai, Egypt. Financing is reportedly to be forthcoming from the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank, (even though procedures of the banks and of the European Union for the granting of such financing has not been properly adhered to).


Furthermore, we are dismayed and shocked to learn that this project has been approved by the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency.


Less than a week after receiving the EIA study, without proper study of the EIA report by ministry experts, the minister of environment approved the project due to strong pressure from the minister of Electricity complimentary.


If such a plant proceeds, it will have a disasterous effect on the local tourism industry, on the local Bedouin population and, above all, on the local environment.


Nuweiba is one of the most picturesque parts of the whole southern Sinai peninsula, has an excellent and unique tourism potential, is home to two major Sinai bedouin tribes, and has an almost unique, relatively undisturbed underwater marine life.


Apart from the obvious enormous detrimental effects such a project will have on the local environment and population during the construction period, once operational, the plant will have a negative impact on the quality of air, will reduce the level of sunlight, increase noise polution and, above all, will damage seriously and irreparably the marine life and coral reefs that lie all along the east coast of Nuweiba adjacent to where the plant is planned to be built.


Such a large power plant will also cause the eventual demise of the local tourist industry and subsequently force the closure of the hotels, dive centres and other tourist service providers in the area, resulting in the loss of jobs for the many workers within the tourism industry and the loss of livelihood for the various local businesses that service the tourism industry in Nuweiba. Tourism is a major source of income for the local Bedouin tribes so the effects on the loss of this industry is simply unimaginable.


We kindly and respectfully ask your assistance in putting presure on the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency immediately to withold approvals for this project pending full investigations, in co-ordination with internationally recognised environmental protection agencies, as well as to hold full disclosure meetings and consultation with local residents, businesses and NGOs as this has apparantly not be done.


We thank you for your full attention and support on this matter.
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