As highlighted in previous GET FiT Annual Reports, the capacity of developers and their consultants to manage environmental and social risks, including health and safety, has been considerably lower than expected. Weak capacity was reflected in the low E&S scores during appraisals of applications for GET FiT support, also resulting in numerous conditions precedent (CPs) defined by the Investment Committee. An anonymous survey among developers in 2015 confirmed that few of the developers had pre-GET FiT experience from implementing projects in line with the IFC Performance Standards.
The GET FiT Investment Committee defined more than 50 environmental and social CPs across the three RfPs in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The CPs were concerned with revision of environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs), resettlement action plan (RAPs), environmental and social management or action plans (ESMPs or ESAPs) and livelihood restoration plans (LRPs). Five (5) E&S CPs were cleared in 2018. Cumulatively across the portfolio to date, 80 % of the environmental and social CPs have been cleared.
As in previous years, GET FiT spent considerable time reviewing and advising developers on E&S issues in 2018. Labour and working conditions including health and safety on construction sites, managing additional land acquisition during construction and ensuring fair compensation, pollution and hazardous waste management, and management of indirect impacts on important biodiversity in national park areas have been important issues in 2018. As more projects achieved commercial operation there was need for additional work on operation phase plans and management of operation phase impacts such as reduced availability of water along river sections where the hydropower projects divert most of the water for much of the year. In 2018, developers continued to express a demand for GET FiT engagement on the management of environmental and social risks. Additional resources earlier provided by KfW and cooperation with ERA continued to support this follow-up.
A total of 29 project visits to twelve (12) projects were undertaken in 2018 including 24 project supervision visits, four (4) COD visits, and one (1) post-COD visit. All visits were to small hydropower projects. Action points were identified in each visit, and the visits continued to prove useful and a necessary part of managing environmental and social risks. In addition, the supervision team made multiple brief unannounced visits at GET FiT projects in operation during the rounds of scheduled visits. The GET FiT Implementation Consultant normally undertakes a semi-annual one-day supervision visit to each project under construction. In 2018, seven projects received additional visits due to the multiple challenges faced by the projects that have not yet achieved commissioning. For several projects, GET FiT also shared information and coordinated feedback to developers with lenders.