The Gabčíkovo Hydroelectric Project


The Gabčíkovo Project was originally designed  and constructed as a part of the Hydro-electric System Gabčíkovo - Nagymaros, located on the Danube river downstream of Bratislava. Bratislava, the capital city of the Slovak Republic, lies close to the borders with Austria and Hungary. The highways, railways, airways and the international Danube water-way secure an ideal interconnection between these countries.

The multipurpose hydroelectric project was built together with Hungary, according to an interstate Treaty signed in 1977. When the Gabčíkovo Project  was completed to about 90%, Hungary stopped to fulfill its treaty obligations in 1989 and tried to terminate the Treaty in 1992. Czechoslovakia had no other choice in its endeavour to save the investment and to prevent significant economic and environmental damage as to introduce a temporary solution, called Variant C, diminishing the size of the reservoir, damming the Danube at Čunovo, on Slovak territory and setting the Project in operation.

One of the most significant goals of the multipurpose Gabčíkovo Project, is the protection against floods, which caused several times catastrophes on the Danubean region. In addition, the project secures  in its section full navigability throughout the whole year, and produces yearly about 2,4 billion KWh of electric energy, what represents approximately 10% of the annual consumption of the Slovak Republic. Besides these main goals, the Project stabilises the riverbed of the Danube, improves the water regime of its interior delta and creates also good conditions for enhancement of water-sports and recreational use of the newly created water surfaces and of the surrounding territory.

The Gabčíkovo Project was put into operation in  October 1992, with an installed capacity of 720 MW in 8 turbine/generator sets. The monitoring results con­firm that the environmental parameters of the whole influenced area did not become worse, or that they were  even improved. The same applies for the quality of the ground water, while increasing the capacity of wells. The system of side arms on both sides of the Danube was, in  the pre-dam state,10 to 11 months in a year without wa­ter supply. The take-off structure from the power canal at Dobrohošť, allowing permanent watering, or even an artificial simulation of floods on the left side; when nec­essary. For the watering of the right (Hungarian) side, there serves an overflown dam in the Danube at  Dunakiliti, built after a long discussion in 1995.

Both the Slovak and Hungarian Republics agreed  in April 1993, to present their dispute to the  International Court in the Hague, mutually formulating  questions to be answered. The verdict has been deli­vered on 25th September 1997. 

In its judgement, the Court found:

According to this verdict, Hungary and Slovakia must negotiate in good faith the achievement of the objectives of the Treaty 1977. In accordance with the  relevant provisions of the Treaty, there has to be estab­lished a joint operational régime on all structures, including the Čunovo structures and the accounts for construction and operation have to be settled. Each Party must compensate the other Party for damage caused by its conduct.


The ability of man to harmonise his interest with the needs of the nature has been fully reflected in the Gabčíkovo Project. The demand of sustainable development was in this case completely fulfilled.

Please, come to see the Project yourself and you will be welcome by hospitable people and beautiful nature.