Response Letter From ALSTOM CEO, Patrick Kron, Regarding Involvement in Merowe Project

Friday, March 19, 2004

Re: Merowe Dam, Sudan

Thank you for your letter regarding the Merowe Dam project in Sudan for which ALSTOM was recently selected to supply electromechanical equipment by the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources – Merowe Dam Implementation Unit (MDPIU).

I have noted your serious concerns regarding this project and your conclusion that it violates international standards on human rights, resettlement, environmental assessment and cultural protection.

I do not, however, share your views; Merowe will practically triple the power generation capacity of Sudan (currently only 500 MW, i.e. less than one percent of the installed capacity in California, a US State with the same population as Sudan), providing vital infrastructure which can only aid the country’s social and economic development over the years to come. As a member of the International Hydro Association we support all efforts made to ensure that a full and serious assessment of the environmental and social impact of a large–scale hydro project is carried out in the project planning stage. In the case of Merowe, the feasibility and environmental impact of the dam project were studied by reputed international institutions and consulting engineers. To our knowledge, plans are in place to mitigate the social and environmental impact of this project.

In conclusion, we have no intention of withdrawing from the Merowe Dam project and will honour our contractual obligations towards our Customer, MDPIU.

Patrick Kron
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer