The historical Megaproject threatens the Destruction of the Neretva Ecosystem

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The “Upper Horizons” (”Gornji Horizonti”) project in Trebisnjica can be called historic not only because of the date it was started, which dates back to the 20th century, but also because of the changes it will bring if it is completed.

Those changes will forever change the ecosystem of a good part of Herzegovina. Officials persistently ignore this fact and repeat several sentences about the “grandiose benefit” of the project.

What is the “Upper Horizons” project?

“Upper horizons” is a hydropower megaproject of complex and large-scale operations in the Trebisnjica river basin, and the system consists of seven hydroelectric power plants, six storage basins, and canals and tunnels that collect water from the Trebisnjica river basin for energy purposes.

The implementation of the project began in the former Yugoslavia in 1956, and by the beginning of the war, the first phase, which was called “Lower Horizons”, was completed. Then the Trebinje I, Trebinje II, pumped hydroelectric power plant Capljina and Plat hydroelectric power plants were built. The first two hydropower plants are now part of Elektroprivreda Republika Srpska (RS), hydroelectric power plant Capljina is part of Elektroprivreda Herceg Bosna in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), and hydroelectric power plantPlat is part of Croatian Elektroprivreda.

After the construction of those hydroelectric plants, they also planned the “Upper Horizons” project, but that all stopped. However, the idea reawakened 15-20 years ago in today’s government systems.

It threatens to disrupt the ecosystem of the region

Vladimir Topic from the citizens’ association “Center for the Environment” explained what dangers this project poses for the ecosystem of the entire BiH.

“What is problematic is that data that is 50 years old is being used. In the 1970s, some tests were carried out on how to implement that project, and today that data is used for the implementation of that project. After the renewal of the project, it missed the deadlines several times, that is, it should have been finished, but it still hasn’t.

Work is still being done on it, especially on the construction of the Dabar hydroelectric power plant and the large tunnel from Nevesinjsko to Dabarsko polje. The project is expensive, it costs us a lot, there are debt investments, and public institutions of the RS are in debt in order to realize that project,” said Topic.


Source: Sarajevo Times

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