Environmental, Social, Health and Safety (ESHS) Requirements

The Developers shall design, construct, commission, operate and maintain the PV plant in accordance with all applicable environmental regulations, environmental standards and stipulations of the Republic of Armenia, and in compliance with comprehensive and pro-active health, safety and environmental plans according to which the Developer will incorporate into the design and construction of the PV plant such equipment, processes and facilities, as will facilitate the operation of the PV plant, in accordance with environmentally sound and sustainable policies, practices and procedures. The Developer shall demonstrate during the design and construction phase as well as during the testing and operation phase that the PV plant is able to comply with all applicable environmental regulations and standards.

The Developers further shall take note of and respect all applicable health, safety and environmental regulations and guidelines including personal protective equipment, housekeeping and other guidelines for workers and visitors at the PV plant during construction and operation of the plant.

In line with the applicable requirements of Republic of Armenia, if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be conducted and respective environmental management plans for construction and operational phase developed for the given project, the EIA will be provided within the application. If EIA is not required for the given project, applicant will confirm this by providing an official written confirmation form the Ministry of Environment of RA, stating that the proposed projects is not a subject to EIA. For details, please refer to Minimum Technical Requirements

In addition to the requirements of Republic of Armenia, the plant shall be categorized according to the KfW Sustainability Guideline, 2021 and assessment and management of impacts respective of the assigned category shall be implemented.

Definition of Environmental & Social Categorization (KfW Sustainability Guideline, 2021)

A project’s environment category is determined by the category of its most environmentally sensitive component, including direct, indirect, induced, and cumulative impacts. Each proposed project is scrutinized as to its type, location, scale, sensitivity and the magnitude of its potential environmental impacts. The level of detail and comprehensiveness of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) are commensurate with the significance of the potential impacts and risks. The environmental categorization as per KfW Sustainability Guideline, 2021 is defined as follows:

  • Category A (high risk). If it is likely that the project will have significantly adverse environmental impacts and risks that are irreversible, diverse, or unprecedented, affecting a large area. An ESIA, including an ESMP, is required.

  • Category B+ (substantial risk). If it is expected that a Category B has single significantly adverse environmental and social impacts and risks, it is included under Category B+. An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) are requested.

  • Category B (moderate risk). A proposed project is classified as category B if its potential adverse environmental and social risks and impacts are less adverse than those of category A projects. These impacts are site‐specific, in most cases reversible, and can usually be mitigated through standard, best available mitigation approaches. The need for, scope, priorities and depth of an ESIA are determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Category C (low risk). A proposed project is classified as category C if it is likely to have minimal or no adverse environmental impacts. No environmental assessment is required although environmental implications need to be reviewed.

The categorization of projects with regards to magnitude of impacts will be evaluated based on impacts on environmental aspects and social aspects, if any.

To enable the assessment, identification of potential risks and categorization of the project according to the above criteria, applicants are requested to submit set of documents, subject to need and availability, and information with regards to environmental and social aspects of the project setting.

This environmental and social screening and a due diligence are conducted to ensure that the PE and the project meet national and applicable IFC Performance Standards requirements for environmental protection as well as health and safety requirements. To address detected deficiencies, GAF-RE expert team can assist the borrowers by developing an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) listing gaps in compliance with the Project’s ESHS requirements and necessary actions to close those gaps. When projects qualify for Technical Assessment, the GAF-RE team will provide applicant with guidance and templates to meet the content and format of any documents required together with the Environmental and Social Action Plan.

Environmental, Social, Health, Safety and Management

Upon granting of the funds, the successful applicants (Developers) shall prepare and implement a comprehensive ESHS policy and associated procedures, that will govern the EPC Contractor’s an Operator‘s actions at all times during the design preparation and construction of the PV plant, as well as during the operating phase of the PV plant.

The Developers shall submit as a minimum, a detailed Construction Environmental, Social, Health and Safety Plan and a detailed Operation Environmental, Social, Health and Safety Plan, that will demonstrate the Developer’s commitment to the highest standards of personnel and general safety, as well as health and occupational hygiene standards during construction and operation of the PV plant, as well as the concept of an accident and injury free project. For projects which are already in operation, Construction Environmental, Social, Health and Safety Plan will not be required.

Monthly ES&HS Monitoring Reports will be required for the duration of the project, as a part of O&M Reports.

Additional plans and procedures might be required for specific projects due to their estimated potential impact on the surrounding environment, for example:

  • Biodiversity Assessment Report - in case of potential for adverse impact of the project on any special protected natural areas and other areas of special conservation interest (Emerald, Ramsar sites and others), as well as endangered habitat and presence of any Important Bird Areas within project area of influence.

  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan - in case of potential for adverse impact of the project on the affected communities, such as surrounding settlements, businesses, agricultural or gazing areas or similar.

  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in accordance with international standards (IFC Performance Standards and the WB EHS Guidelines) - In case of project’s environment category A, B+ or B, as described above.

Such requirements will be determined during the Technical Assessment. If necessary for a project, the development of specific documents will be required from Developer upon granting of the funds within a deadline set in the Technical Assessment and Monitoring Reports. GAF-RE team experts will support the development of the necessary documentation by providing an outline for each deliverable and by commenting onthe Developer submittals. It is strongly recommended that the Developer appoints environmental, social health and safety expert(s) for the implementation of the project.

All guidelines and limitations set forth in the Environmental, Social, Health and Safety Plans shall be considered in detail for all works on the PV plant project.

List of References to assist filling out the Application Form