Press release – January 6th, 2015

Suspension of the Foz Tua dam is decided Thursday. The rents of €300 million may be cancelled for the energy companies


The Petition – “Manifest for the Tua Valley” will be voted in the Portuguese Parliament on Thursday, January 8th at 3 pm. Over than 7.300 people demand the immediate suspension of the construction works of the Foz Tua dam, to revoke the Ordinance that provides €300 million non-refundable and the reopening of the classification procedure for the classification of the Tua Railway as a National Monument.


This may lead to the definitive suspension of the construction works of the Foz Tua dam, the first of seven, planned in the National Dam Programme of High Hydroelectric Power (PNBEPH). If the petition  objectives are to be approved, this dam that would produce only 0,1 % of the overall energy consumption in Portugal will be suspended. Compared with better alternatives it is a very high price to pay and a very low input taking into account all the ecological, social, economic and cultural damages.


Recently, an investigation made by the Universidade Nova de Lisboa has proved that a permanent work place in the sector of natural an cultural tourism – alike Alto Douro Wine Region – becomes 11 times less expensive than one in the dam.


If the Foz Tua dam is built it will destroy Tua historic railway line, being thus one of the reasons to demand the classification of the Tua Railway as National Monument. Since the beginning of the construction works on the site, there has been several illegalities that have been committed, namely the non-replacement of the mobility in the Tua Valley.


Furthermore, the alignment for the very high power line connecting the Foz Tua dam to the national  grid has been recently approved. If it goes ahead it will wretch open a World Heritage landscape which is against Unesco assessment made in 2012 that strongly recommended the alignment not to cross the site of the Alto Douro Wine Region.


The so-called “private” investment in the National Dam Programme is a fraud. During the next 75  concession years , the Portuguese companies and households will pay 10 % more, because the new dams have an high increase over the price of the electric generating system. These dams are shockingly favoured with €300 million of public subsidies non-refundable. They are not sustainable at all that is why the current government, among the list of projects submitted to the Juncker Plan, requested  €1.210 million of community funding to the dams.


« It’s time deputies take over their responsibilities. They must choose in the best interest of the country and consumers and in this case the petition is accepted or in the interests of the big energy and construction companies, the banks and so on», says João Joanaz de Melo, the first signatory of the Petition- Manifest for the Tua Valley.


The Platform Save the Tua has send an open letter addressed to the 230 deputies of the Portuguese Parliament and to the 21 deputies of the European Parliament. In the wording, the multi-partnership platform argues that “the Foz Tua dam is not needed in Portugal” and that the NDP “ is just another public private partnership in disguise to enrich some, forcing the consumers and the State to pay high charges to the detriment of other essential utilities.

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