22. Rehabilitation and improvement of the Sava River Waterway

SEETO No: SEETO CN position:
Transport mode:
Overall project objective:
To rehabilitate Croatia’s section of Corridor VII in order to achieve the requirements of the international classification, category IV. This project will cover the area of the Sava River from Brcko (rkm 234) to Sisak (rkm 594). Growing expectations regarding the potential of the Sava river has driven public authorities to rehabilitate the river, a commitment made explicit in the ‘Letter of Intent concerning the International Sava River Basin Commission Initiative‘, known as the ’Sava Initiative‘, signed in Sarajevo on 29 November 2001 by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and by the Minister for Civil Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The four riparian countries then signed in Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) on 3 December 2002 the ’Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin‘ (FASRB), by which the International Sava River Basin Commission (Sava Commission) was formally established. The FASRB came into force on 29 December 2004 and the Constitutional Session of the Sava Commission was held on 27–29 June 2005 in Zagreb.

Regarding the navigation regime, the FASRB stipulates that navigation on the Sava River is free for trade vessels of all states and identical to the regulation for the Danube River. Trade vessels have a right to free entrance into ports on the section of the Sava River waterway from Sisak to its estuary into the Danube River as well as on all navigable parts of the Sava River tributaries, for the purpose of loading, discharging, supply, and similar actions. Signatory parties of the Agreement agreed to undertake all necessary measures for the maintenance of the waterways in their territory to guarantee a navigable condition as well as to undertake measures to improve navigation conditions, and not to prevent or cause any obstacle to navigation. The parties also agreed to regulate by a separate Protocol on the Regime of Navigation all issues regarding navigation, such as institutional arrangements (rules of navigation, technical rules for vessels, marking of navigable waterways, etc.) and expenses relating to the maintenance of the navigable waterways and the regime of navigation.

Project benefits:
The population in the Sava River basin is approximately 8,176,000, which represents 46% of the total population of all countries (excluding ALB and MON). In particular, the population of the Sava River Basin in CRO is 50% of the total population in that Regional Participant, and in BIH it is 75%. Economic activities developed in the Sava River basin, generates employment for more than 2,379,000 people, which is 29% of all inhabitants in the Sava River basin and 45% of all employed people in the Regional Participants.The industry sector and other activities sector (construction, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financial intermediation, real estate, renting and business activities) remain the greatest producers of jobs. 31% of all employed people in the Sava River basin work in the other activities sector, 27% work in the industry sector, 29% work in the public sector, 12% work in the agriculture sector and 1% work in the energy sector.
Share of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the Sava River basin reaches a very significant 53% of the GDP of all Regional Participants.
Economic / Financial / Environmental indicators:
Significant modal shift effects are expected after the rehabilitation/upgrade of the River Sava. Transport will shift from road to inland navigation in order to profit from lower transport costs.

EIRR high volume scenario: 26%
EIRR medium volume scenario: 19%
EIRR low volume scenario: 9%

Net present Value project 6% discount rate
NPV (million Euro)

High volume scenario 185.1
Medium volume scenario 95.5
Low volume scenario 15.5

Total cost (M€) 55
Section Type of work Length (km)
 Sisak – Brcko  Rehabilitation  360