Two New Hydroelectric Power Stations on Drava River

Total Croatia News

The power plants would increase electricity production, open 60 new jobs and help with flooding control.

Croatian Electric Company (HEP) has submitted to Koprivnica-Križevci County the documentation necessary for including the sites of the two new hydroelectric power stations, Molve 1 and Molve 2, into the county spatial plans. The company has confirmed that the locations had already been included in the national Physical Planning Programme, reports Večernji List on December 12, 2017.

The sites were first analysed in 2009. “Further analysis and research will be carried out if the projects are included in the county spatial planning documents and spatial plans of units of local self-government. It is important to emphasize that HEP has not initiated the procedure for amending the spatial plans, but is providing expert support to the county and municipalities in the area of these ​​energy projects,” said HEP ​​and added that the company had informed the representatives of the county and municipalities about all expected impacts and benefits of the proposed projects. The first presentation for local councillors will be organized in January.

“According to the present plans, the Molve 1 and 2 hydroelectric power plants would be regulated by the operations of the existing Dubrava power plant, without the need to construct new artificial lakes which exist next to other hydroelectric power plants upstream. The construction of the hydro power plants is planned within the area already circled by water protection embankments,” said HEP.

The company also argues that, in addition to producing electricity, these multifunctional facilities would bring to the local communities an increased protection from floods, additional revenues for local government budgets, open up to 60 new jobs, create conditions for irrigation of agricultural areas and the urbanization of the surrounding region, and improve road infrastructure with two new bridges across the Drava river.

The construction of the two hydroelectric power plants has been debated for years. In April 2010, the government adopted a decision on priorities for development of power station facilities, which mentions these two hydroelectric power plants.

However, biologist and environmental protectionist Goran Šafarek says that HEP has just renamed the old project of the Novo Virje power plant, which has collapsed long ago. “The project is completely unrealistic, too expensive and would do huge damage to the entire Drava river. The only reason for the project is that HEP wants to spend more money, and we all know what that means in Croatia. For similar reasons, many other exceedingly expensive projects have also collapsed. If they were really interested in producing electricity, they would have expanded solar production in Dalmatia long time ago and develop other modern technologies,” he said.

Environmentalists also warn that the Drava river is protected as a part of the Mura-Drava regional park and is part of the NATURA 2000 ecological network.

The proponents of the projects say they would solve the flooding problems down the 19 kilometre stretch of the river, including in municipalities of Drnje, Peteranec, Gola, Hlebine, Molve and Novo Virje.

Translated from Večernji List.


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