Hinkley Point – another Enron? The international corporate political alliance signs up – and the poorest pay most
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The guaranteed rate to be paid for electricity produced at the Somerset site is nearly twice the market price of energy. The price is guaranteed for 35 years and will rise in line with inflation. Read on here.
In December 1993, despite huge public opposition, Enron finalized a 20-year contract with the Maharashtra State Electricity Board to build and operate a huge 2,015 megawatt power plant on fertile mango-growing land.
Even neighbouring agriculture was affected by the pollution emitted. In 2006, Outlook India recorded:
“At Snehal Vaidya’s Anjanvel home, nestled in her mango orchard, bright red oil from the Enron factory used to pollute the stream whose waters were used for domestic and irrigation purposes. In other orchards that grew the famous Alphonso mangoes, tree leaves used to be topped with a powdery white soot from the old Dabhol chimneys. During those years, earnings from mango orchards fell to a third”.
The MSEB, which generated its own power at Rs. 1.3 per unit with average purchases from other sources at Rs. 2.3 per unit kWh, signed a contract to pay Enron Rs.8 per unit for electricity generated and to pay plant maintenance charges, even if no power was purchased from the plant.
In 1996 India’s central government assessed the project as excessively expensive, refused to pay for the plant and stopped construction. The MSEB also announced that it could not afford to purchase the power, even when this was cut by over 20%.
An Indian firm took over the moth-balled plant in 2006 and – though with periodic problems – some electricity is now being generated.
Will Amnesty International eventually produce a report about brutality to British protestors? CHS-Sachetan gave evidence to Amnesty International’s Emma Blower and Sangeeta Ahuja, who produced a detailed report on the human rights violations perpetrated against local people living near the Enron power project in Maharashtra.
The revelations of Enron’s conduct with political connections in the United States substantiated the suspicions of Indian critics after hearing that Enron International’s former chief executive Rebecca Mark had allocated $28 million for an “education fund” for Indian politicians.
And Britain aided the Enron project – the biter bit??
Will ‘ordinary’ people who pay taxes perforce come to the rescue one day?
Posted on October 21, 2013, in Banking and finance, Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Lobbying, MPs, Parliamentary failure, Planning, Vested interests and tagged Amnesty International, Market price of energy, Rebecca Mark. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.