Honduras: NGOs & MPs call on Austrian co to stop supplying turbines to hydropower project allegedly linked to human rights abuses; incl. co non-response

On 21 June 2018, 20 organisations and individuals including an MEP, an Austrian MP, academics and several NGOs sent an open letter to Austrian company, Geppert Hydropower, urging it to stop supplying turbines to a Honduran hydropower project allegedly linked to human rights abuses. Concerns include lack of effective consultation, access to clean water, environmental damages as well as violence and threats against those opposing the plant. The letter calls on Geppert Hydropower to

  • Immediately halt the delivery of turbines
  • Carry out a thorough human rights risk assement and
  • Subsequently terminate all current contracts with the Honduran company "Hidroeléctrica Centrales El Progreso" (Hidrocep).

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Geppert Hydropower to respond to the open letter. The company declined to respond.

Please note that the English version of the letter is an unofficial translation provided by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. The letter was originally published in German and Spanish.

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All components of this story

Company non-response
27 August 2018

Non-response by Geppert Hydropower

Author: Geppert Hydropower

The company declined to respond.

Item
21 June 2018

Open letter to Geppert Hydropower

Author: HondurasDelegation Germany - Austria et al.

[unofficial translation by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

According to information on your homepage, "Geppert Hydropower" supplies Pelton turbines to the hydropower plant "Los Planes" in Honduras (Tela, Atlántida)... [W]e [...] strongly urge you to

  • Immediately halt the delivery of turbines
  • Carry out a thorough human rights risk assessment and
  • Subsequently terminate all current contracts with the Honduran company "Hidroeléctrica Centrales El Progreso" (Hidrocep).

As a turbine supplier for "Los Planes", Geppert Hydropower plays an essential part in the implementation of a hydropower project with a wrongful permit and the construction of which has already caused enormous environmental damage. The drinking water supply of about 20,000 people at the lower reaches of the Rio Mezapa was and remains significantly affected. Human rights due diligence, as enshrined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, sets the standard for business action, both on a national and international level. It also sets out the responsibility of Geppert Hydropower to ensure respect for human rights throughout your entire business operations, including business partners...

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