Subject: Request to discontinue funding the project of coal-fired power plants Punta Catalina in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Frédéric Oudéa
Executive Director
Societe Generale
17 cours Valmy
92800 Puteaux

Copy to:
Mr. Jean-Michel Mépuis
Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development
Ms. Cécile Rechatin
Excess and surplus policies and manages stakeholder dialogue

6 April 2016

Subject: Request to discontinue funding the project of coal-fired power plants Punta Catalina in the Dominican Republic.

Dear Mr. Oudéa,

We turn to you, and to partner banks – Deutsche Bank, ING, Santander and UniCredit – to transmitireles urgent concerns resopecto the project Punta Catalina plant of 770 megawatts of coal and infrastructure currently related construction in the Dominican Republic.

In addition to new coal units, the project promoted by the Dominican Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEEE), at a cost of about $ 2 billion, also includes the construction of a coal terminal with a capacity of 80,000 tons, as well as additional applications, such as conveyors, cooling water systems and water treatment, and an electrical substation.

Brazilian company Odebrecht is leading the construction of coal plants, with a completion date scheduled for early 2017. However, a variety of disputes arising linked to the project, it is now threatening this end date.

Along with other European banks mentioned above, on 31 December 2015 Societe Generale participated in the disbursement of $ 200 million, the first installment of a total financing of these European banks for the project of Punta Catalina is expected to amount to $ 632.5 million.

There are a number of significant risks involved in this project, including:
1. Allegations of corrupt practices in the bidding process for the project persist, like the growing concern because of what might represent for constriybuentes the financial burden of this project.
2. Environmental and health of the local population and the associated risk of social conflict impacts.
3. The threat to the climate in general and for the credibility of Societe Generale as an advocate for urgent action on climate change.

These risks are summarized in the annex to this letter.
We believe that these risks are sufficient for Societe Generale reconsider its involvement in this project.

In addition to these long-term risks, we would like to highlight the most pressing problem, one that – legal principle – should seriously put into question the continued participation of his institution in the Punta Catalina project.

On December 23, 2015, the government of the Dominican Republic signed an agreement with the institution and with other partners European banks, in order to receive $ 200 million to pay part of the commitments made by the CDEEE with US suppliers in the construction of coal plants Punta Catalina. A copy of this agreement is attached to this.

Under this agreement, the Dominican Republic pledged to return this advance in full to the aforementioned banks if, as of March 31, 2016, the country received disbursements agreed loan with the National Bank for Economic and Social Development of Brazil (BNDES) to co-finance, together with European banks, building coal plants Punta Catalina.

You should keep in mind that the BNDES is currently unable to run this loan as it is being investigated by the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Brazil for his role in a corruption scandal at Petrobras and for alleged influence peddling.

Therefore, if you are following the letter of the law as stated in the agreement of 23 December, the Dominican government should have returned to 1st. April $ 200 million provided by the group of European banks, and leaving them free from their undertaking to finance the project of Punta Catalina totaling $ 635 million.

We would like to ask you to clarify and confirm if the above is an accurate representation of the agreement that his institution has signed with the Government of the Dominican Republic on December 23, 2015, legal interpretation and also to indicate if they have not yet received a refund this money by the Dominican government.

Societe Generale also urge you to seriously reconsider its participation in the proposed coal plants Punta Catalina, and ultimately end their support for it. This, we believe, should begin with providing a public commitment indicating that his institution will not participate in the next scheduled payments for the construction of the project.

If you have any questions regarding these issues, we would be very willing to continue intecambiando with you, and representatives of the local group National Committee to Combat Climate Change, in particular, are available to clarify what has become a situation very conflict in recent weeks due to contractual and legal issues surrounding the first and potentially subsequent tranches of project funding.

Given the urgency of this matter, we would appreciate a response to this letter from your institution within the next week.


Enrique de León
National Committee to Combat Climate Change (CNLCC)
The Dominican Republic

Lucie Pinson
Private funding campaign, Les Amis de la Terre

Heffa shucking
Director, Urgewald

Yann Louvel
Campaign Coordinator of Energy and Climate
BankTrack, <>



We would point out that should cosiderar the overall impacts of the coal power plant of Punta Catalina when evaluating the project.

1. Corruption and financial issues

The tender for the project, which was Odebrecht chosen to build the plants, has been widely criticized, most recently in an article by a renowned lawyer Namphi Rodriguez in the Dominican newspaper Hoy that describes how the bidding process violated the national constitution and public procurement law.

Legal authorities in Brazil are investigating alleged corrupt practices Odebrecht. It is alleged that the draft Punta Catalina has been overvalued by $ 1 trillion and that the funds thus obtained could be used to finance the ongoing re-election campaign of Danilo Medina, the current president of the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, the justice system of the Dominican Republic is suffering a crisis of credibility and extensive public scrutiny, with demonstrations demanding the resignation of all judges of the Supreme Court.

Your institution must also be aware of the uncertainty and the main obstacles surrounding BNDES financing in the medium term due to the existence of a conflict that two other companies that are challenging the tender awarded to Odebrecht – and the consortium of which company heads – for the construction contract for the project Punta Catalina.

Due to legal and financial complications associated with the participation of BNDES, we believe that the government may have to raise funds by itself, and therefore most likely increasing pressure on the state budget.

2. Large impacts on health and the environment

The entire project – which includes the construction of two coal units and the construction of a coal terminal with a capacity of 80,000 tons, additional equipment such as conveyor belts, cooling water and water treatment, and power substation – accentuate the pressure on local communities and resources.

This major project threatens the fundamental right to health and a healthy environment, especially for people living in the area close to the project. Concern about these tangible issues has worsened due to the general lack of information about the project and an assessment of the consequent risk of it.

Local organizations and individuals filed an injunction in the Supreme Administrative Court in December 2015 to halt the construction of power plants Punta Catalina. The applicants will project violates:
• Law 64-00 on the Environment and Natural Resources, specifically the principle of prevention and precaution in public and private management of the environment and natural resources.

• The right of neighbors and other communities in the province Peravia to health and a clean environment, as established by the Constitution of the Dominican Republic, Articles 61, 66 and 67.

3. Pollution and climate change

The project of the coal power plant of Punta Catalina is highly incompatible with the Paris Agreement which established a global consensus on the restriction, as an imperative, the increase in global temperature in Scenario 2 ° C – has also put things up for more ambitious measures necessary and to a scenario of 1.5 ° C. Following leading climate scientists and energy, numerous studies now show that the development of any new coal infrastructure is incompatible with achieving this goal.

A report published in December 2015 by the Climate Action Tracker revealed that “although not available for new construction, emissions from thermal generation of coal in 2030 would still be 150% higher than what is consistent with scenarios limit warming below 2 ° C above pre-industrial (middle of the range) levels “If the new total planned coal (2440 plants planned coal equivalent 1428 GW.) – according to estimates by the Global coal Plant Tracker – it was to build the required levels exceed 400%.

Despite rapid growth, the removal of coal plants is not happening fast enough to compensate for new plants, as demonstrated in a new report released last month by Greenpeace, Sierra Club and CoalSwarm.

In addition, to accelerate the process of withdrawal of coal plants far safer and easier to prevent climate change out of control is to stop planning new plants and eliminate all coal power plants announced and pre permitted, including the TJB2 project in Indonesia.

Ignoring a huge body, widely accepted science and climate analysis, and based on estimates by the World Alliance for Environmental Law, it is expected to coal plant Punta Catalina issued 6.34 million metric tons of CO2 year, enough to increase per capita CO2 emissions by 20% in this small island and vulnerable to climate change.

In addition to CO2 emissions, local and private organizations claim that the thermal coal plant Punta Catalina is expected to produce 174,000 tons of ash and 14,000 tons of slag per year as waste from the combustion of coal and 30 tons nitrogen dioxide and 30 tons of sulfur dioxide per day, not to mention numerous micro-particles of heavy metals.

In 2015, Societe Generale announced its decision to end its funding of coal power plants in countries of high income as well as support for all projects of coal mines and specialized companies in the field, because of their concerns about climate change. These decisions were received as a first important step towards the end of the bench support carbon step. However, they remain insufficient in the urgency of climate change.

We believe that directly supporting the construction of new coal capacity, which will help to enclose the carbon-based infrastructure for many years to come, will discredit the institution declared its position on climate change.

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