February 19, 2019 / 1:39 PM / in a month

Slovenia set to abandon Mura river hydropower plans

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia is likely to abandon plans to build up to eight hydropower plants on the river Mura, according to an Environment Ministry proposal.

Plans to build hydropower plants on the Mura, in the east of the country, were first put forward in 2005 but none have been built so far. Local residents and civil society groups have protested, saying the plants would destroy the environment.

The ministry said: “Studies showed there was no variation (of power plant) that would be environmentally acceptable.”

“This is the only proper solution,” Rok Rozman, a founder of the environmental group Balkan River Defense, said. “We will continue to fight against unnecessary hydropower plants ... and for the remaining wild rivers of Europe.”

The ministry did not say whether it had alternative plans to replace the potential energy from the Mura plants.

It did not say when its proposal to abolish concessions for the Mura would go to the government for approval, but analysts expect it to happen in the coming months.

Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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