Zagreb, 17 April 2019 – General Manager of Hrvatske vode Zoran Đuroković has signed a works contract for the modernisation and upgrade of Vonarje Dam in the value of HRK 10.75 million (incl. VAT). On behalf of the contractor, the contract was signed by Mladen Hren, Director of the company Niskogradnja Hren d.o.o., the lead member of a consortium of four Croatian companies (Niskogradnja Hren d.o.o., GEOKON-ZAGREB d.d., Hamowa-Hidro TPK d.o.o. from Karlovac and Elektrowat d.o.o. from Zaprešić).

The signing of this contract marks the start of the works on the Croatian side of Vonarje Dam which are supposed to be completed by the end of November 2019, when the FRISCO 2.1 Project (Cross-Border Harmonized Flood Risk Reduction 2.1 – Structural Measure Vonarje Dam) ends. The project is implemented under the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme INTERREG V-A Slovenia-Croatia. The total value of this project is EUR 1,678,525, of which 85 % is co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the project partners covering the remaining 15 % of the investment with their own resources. The project is implemented by two partners: the Slovenian Water Agency (DRSV) as the lead partner and Hrvatske vode, which have been managing the dam for quite some time. After the completion of all the planned activities, the project partners will continue to jointly manage the rehabilitated structure.

“The implementation of the measures foreseen by the FRISCO 2.1 Project will ensure the safety and functionality of Vonarje Dam and improve its operational management, with the aim of retaining the high Sutla/Sotla waters and reducing flood risks downstream of the dam”, Mr Đuroković said at the contract signing ceremony, adding that the FRISCO 2.1 Project activities supplement bilateral cooperation and activities implemented through the cohesion policy operational programmes in Croatia and Slovenia.

The works to be performed by the consortium of Croatian companies include the reconstruction of the dam’s structural elements, replacement of worn-out hydro-mechanical and operating equipment, replacement and upgrade of electrical installations and equipment, and installation of equipment for automatic operation, remote control and monitoring of dam operation and condition.

The Sutla/Sotla iver forms a natural border between Croatia and Sloveni. At high water events, the Sutla/Sotla leaves its channel almost along its entire course, flooding the surrounding agricultural areas both on the Croatian and on the Slovenian side. Vonarje Dam is the most significant water regulation and protection structure on the Sutla/Sotla River. It had been built in the late 1970s as a multi-purpose reservoir (for water supply, irrigation and flood water retention).

In the late 1980s its use for water supply stopped, and its basic purpose today is to retain high water waves of the Sutla/Sotla and improve flood protection. After the completion of the works, the dam is expected to be fully functional in accordance with the highest European standards.