Number of issues in the RWE project HES Upper Drina, says Euro-region Drina NGO chairman

, SEE Energy News

President of the Euro-region Drina Zdravko Krsmanovic sent a letter to MPs of the National Assembly of Republic Srpska, and to several addresses in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, which points to a number of shortcomings in the decision of the RS Government on the selection of a strategic partner, the German company RWE, for the projects “Upper Drina hydro energy system.”

Krsmanovic reminded of the requirements to be met in order to use the Drina hydro power potential.

He points out that the current idea that these projects should be entrusted to foreigners is “reckless and dangerous, which is contrary to current practice, very logical in all the countries that care about their development and integrity.”

“Large development projects in the water sector should not be entrusted to foreign companies that are interested exclusively in their profit and no at all in other very important development components of the project and they do not even think to reinvest a part of the profits from the profitable parts of the system in the field of water security, the implementation of social, transportation, environmental, urban, and other objectives” he said.

He notes that “a very bad practice that the whole design phase, starting with the selection of the concept of the system, to the analysis of the impact of the project on the environment – is entrusted to foreign companies is very surprising, which thus get the opportunity to adapt the project only to goals profitable to them.

“Such behavior is especially dangerous and incomprehensible from the standpoint of international practice, because the analysis of impacts and measures to protect all the components of the environment are the most important from the viewpoint of realization of necessary social, environmental and urban targets. Such analyses are always done by completely neutral institutions that may not be in conflict of interests” said Krsmanovic.

He claims that “an example of such bad practices is the upper Drina current project, in which the planner ignored even the most necessary measures to protect Foca, which are essential to ensure the safety of people and downstream settlements and rejected all necessary facilities and systems except those that bring profit”

It is obvious that the current practice of narrow and one-sided treatment of projects on Drina is unsustainable, says Krsmanovic and emphasizes that projects in Drina river basin must be treated as a large integrated development projects, with clearly defined social, economic, development, production (energy and water management ), environmental, urban, infrastructure and other targets.

This can be accomplished, he concluded, only if these systems are implemented in the organization of the countries in these parts of the basin for projects to really get all the attributes of integrated development projects.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine