052-i. Advice: guidelines on transboundary transmission line - Central America

The NCEA reviewed the quality of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the construction of power transmission lines in Central America. It also reviewed the Terms of Reference (ToR) for planned new EIA studies and provided guidelines on information to be included.

Advisory reports and other documents

24 Feb 2003: Terms of reference
Accompanying letter
Accompanying letter ES
Advice ES
Appendices Advice
Appendices Advice ES
Map ES

Significant details

The SIEPAC initiative (Sistema de Interconexión Eléctrica en America Central) involves the construction of power transmission lines and connections to substations in various Central American countries. Following an EIA on regional scale, national EIA studies were to be undertaken in order to obtain licenses according to legal requirements of the various countries. The EIA directors of all countries involved agreed to submit specific requirements based on their national legislations, that were planned to supplement generic Terms of Reference (ToR) that had already been prepared.

The NCEA was asked to assist in addressing regional and transboundary impacts of the project. The resulting advice is a combination of a review (of the original EIA studies and the new ToR) and guidelines (on information that is not yet covered in the ToR, but yet essential for decision-making). The main points addressed in the advice are:

  • The original EIA studies are incomplete, purely descriptive and qualitative. They do however form a good starting point for the planned new EIA studies;
  • The ToR is a comprehensive basis for further EIA studies, but at some points lacks focus. The NCEA advises to take a phased approach to distinguish between decisions on location and decisions on design;
  • Supplementary guidelines for the ToR include the following aspects:
    • Project justification;
    • Transboundary issues;
    • Harmonisation of environmental criteria;
    • Natural risks, ecological and social impacts;
    • Public participation.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Arend Jan van Bodegom, MSc
Bela Petry
Niek Rengers

Chair: Klaas-Jan Beek
Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Proponent and Component Authority

Electricity Companies of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Spain

Component Authority
Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD)

Further details

Country: Central America

Last modified: 28 May 2019