The son-in-law of Dragan Čović, Mario Krezić, is a co-owner of the small hydroelectric power plant project Volujak in the municipality of Prozor/Rama. He attempted to sell it to Elektroprivreda HZ HB (where he works) through family connections for as much as five million marks.
The residents of Prozor-Rama have been opposing this project for years, unaware that Mario, the son-in-law of Dragan Čović, and his father, Pavo Krezić, are part of the ownership and founding structure.
The former director of Elektroprivreda, Marinko Gilja, allegedly refused to purchase the project, which was reportedly the reason for his voluntary resignation. He has remained silent about the reasons for leaving EP since day one, but according to our source, there is written evidence in the Elektroprivreda archives regarding this unfinished transaction. The fact that Elektroprivreda requested expert opinions on the project’s value and legal opinions on the purchase indicates that it was either the intention or the order of the President of HDZ BiH or, at the very least, an offer from MM Energi company to Elektroprivreda.
According to a source from EP, experts provided an opinion to Elektroprivreda stating that the value of the facility, including the small hydroelectric power plant (MHE) with all its accompanying parts (current state of construction), would cost 16 million marks, while the value of the project itself, including permits, was estimated at 3.7 million.
Since a considerable amount of time has passed since the expert opinion was given, and the sale has not been completed, it is known from expert circles that it is likely to be repeated. This indicates that there is still an intention to sell the Volujak HPP to Elektroprivreda HZ HB, despite several lawyers providing negative opinions on the matter.
The husband of the visionary and Dragan Čović’s son-in-law
Dragan Čović appointed his son-in-law’s godfather, Drago Bago, as the acting director of Elektroprivreda, as we previously announced and subsequently reported. It is expected that Bago will oversee the completion of the purchase for his godson.
Furthermore, the company that owns the small hydropower plant project has Čović’s ‘friend’ in its founding structure, specifically the father of his son-in-law, Pavo. And just when you think this story is like a television drama, an additional dimension of intrigue comes from the fact that alongside Krezić, the owner of the Volujak hydropower plant, is Marko Soldo, the husband of the Medjugorje visionary Mirjana Soldo, and their daughter Veronika is also part of the management structure.
In addition to Energija, M I P d.o.o from Uskoplje, owned by Ilija Šandra, appears as an investor in the Volujak HPP project. Elektroprivreda HZ HB has not responded to inquiries regarding whether they have considered purchasing Volujak or whether the co-owner of Energija is their employee and Čović’s son-in-law, Krezić. The residents of Prozor-Rama were unaware that Čović’s relatives were behind this project, and it is likely that the resistance could now be even greater.
The Volujak Eco Association – Dobro polje from Prozor-Rama led the process of invalidating the earlier environmental permit. In the meantime, the investors have initiated a new procedure to obtain a new environmental permit.
The Municipality of Prozor-Rama (as the concessionaire) made a decision to grant a concession for the use of the Volujak River watercourse, through a self-initiated offer, for the construction of the Volujak HPP with a power capacity of less than 5 MW for electricity production. The decision was numbered 06-33-1527/07 and was issued on July 10, 2007. The concession was awarded to the company “BOŠNJAK PROMET” d.o.o. Prozor-Rama, Jaklići 110, represented by director Šimun (Ante) Bošnjak. The Municipality of Prozor-Rama (as the concessionaire) concluded a concession agreement with the same company, numbered 06-33-2522/07 and dated September 18, 2007. However, on June 29, 2010, the Municipality of Prozor-Rama (as the concessionaire) made a decision, numbered 01/1-33-2143/10, to unilaterally terminate the contract due to the non-performance of contractual obligations. The concessionaire filed a lawsuit against the concessionaire, but after a few years, the court ruled in favour of the Municipality, according to the Municipality’s statement.
A new concession was awarded to the current concessionaire through a public tender process. The tender was numbered 01/1-33-1270/12 and was conducted on April 20, 2012, for the purpose of collecting bids for the concession of constructing a mini hydroelectric power plant on the Volujak River watercourse. The concession was then granted to the most favourable bidder, the company MM ENERGI d.o.o. Prozor-Rama.
In March of this year, the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism provided the local government unit with an environmental impact study of the Volujak HPP, which was identical to the study submitted in 2019. In 2019, the Municipality of Prozor-Rama provided their comments and suggestions, emphasizing the need to address the issues related to existing fish species, as well as the general flora and fauna in the area where the construction of the mini hydroelectric power plant is planned. They also highlighted the importance of defining the protection of archaeological findings that may be present at the designated site. They emphasized the need for both Elektroprivreda entities to be involved in the process of issuing the environmental permit, as the water from the Volujak watercourse eventually flows into the Jablanica Lake after a short course in the Rama River. They particularly emphasized the importance of involving the local population from all the settlements surrounding the Volujak River watercourse and canyon in all future environmental-related processes.
This means that the residents of Uzdoljane and Donjevaščane, after winning the first battle to save Volujak, are now facing a new and another battle. The Local Community of Uzdol, along with its branches in Donja Vast, Krančići, Ljubunci, and the Volijak-Dobro Polje Eco Association, successfully challenged the environmental permit for the Volujak HPP through an administrative lawsuit. They initiated an administrative lawsuit at the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo. The court issued a judgment numbered 090 U 034964 19U on November 6, 2020, which upheld the lawsuit of the Local Community of Uzdol and the Volijak-Dobro Polje Eco Association. The issued decision was annulled, and the case was returned to the defendant, the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, for a new procedure.
The House of Representatives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Declaration on the Protection of Rivers on June 23, 2020, and passed a conclusion on a complete ban on the construction of small hydropower plants (SHPs) throughout the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By this conclusion, the Government of the Federation of BiH was given a three-month deadline to conduct an analysis and propose amendments to the legislation that would enable the implementation of this ban in practice.