Voith Suspends Deliveries for Agua Zarca

The violent deaths of the two COPINH members Berta Cáceres and Nelson García have affected us deeply. According to the latest information available to us, the Honduran authorities have apparently arrested four suspects. We expressly welcome that the country’s investigative authorities – as repeatedly requested by us – are taking concrete steps to solve the crime and that their investigations have apparently produced visible results.
We have taken note that, according to media reports, two of the four suspects are alleged to be associated with the operator of the hydropower plant Agua Zarca, DESA, in one way or another. According to the reports we have seen, they are a current and a former employee of DESA.

After a thorough examination of the situation, we have informed our customer DESA yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, May 03, 2016/CEST) that we are suspending all deliveries for the project due to the existing suspicion against current or former employees of DESA until further notice. We have requested DESA to cooperate with the authorities and to provide an instant response to the allegations.

Depending on the further course of and the results of these investigations, we will decide whether the deliveries can be continued. Voith condemns all kinds of violence and does not tolerate any form of illegal conduct.

Irrespective of the current situation with regard to the Honduran company DESA, we still believe that combating global poverty effectively is not possible without sustainable economic growth. The reliable and sustainable supply of energy that can be ensured by hydropower is the key for the successful development of the countries such as Honduras. With reliable energy supplies, many people will benefit from economic growth and thus improved standards of living, for example by a better infrastructure and an expansion of the health and education system. Hydropower contributes to that development decisively.

At the same time, we are aware that infrastructure and development projects inevitably go hand in hand with a disruption of local conditions, and that they must consequently be scrupulously investigated, prepared and implemented. This requires a fair reconciliation of interests between all parties involved.

Voith Hydro has been proactive for many years – as a frontrunner and in a dialogue with NGOs – to ensure high standards in the implementation of hydropower projects.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 20,000 people, generates € 4.3 billion in sales, operates in more than 60 countries around the world and is today one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.*
* Excluding the discontinued Group Division Voith Industrial Services.