Oil report

Export insurers halt Turkey's Ilisu dam project

VIENNA, Dec 23 (Reuters) - The export credit insurers underwriting funding for Turkey’s Ilisu dam project on the Tigris river have halted the project amid concerns it is not meeting World Bank standards, the insurers said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The three insurers -- Euler Hermes Kreditversicherung of Germany, Austria’s Oesterreichische Kontrollbank and Swiss Schweizerische Exportrisikoversicherung -- said they ordered suppliers to suspend working on the dam for 180 days.

The German, Austrian and Swiss governments have agreed that the project must meet some 150 conditions affecting the environment, relocation, cultural heritage and neighbouring states.

“There was significant progress in recent weeks to implement the project according to World Bank standards,” the insurers said in their statement. “However, the progress is not enough to approve building measures,” they said.

The project would swallow up more than 80 villages and hamlets by the time of its planned completion in 2013.

Euler Hermes ELER.PA is majority-owned by Germany's Allianz ALVG.DE, while the Swiss and the Austrian institutions are state-owned. (Reporting by Boris Groendahl; Editing by Giles Elgood)