Press visit canceled on the geothermal site in Haute-Sorne

Press visit canceled on the geothermal site in Haute-Sorne
Press visit canceled on the geothermal site in Haute-Sorne

The tension around the deep geothermal project in Haute-Sorne has not subsided. Geo-Energie Jura announced on Monday that it had canceled the press conference planned for Wednesday on the site for fear that certain opponents would disrupt this event with illegal actions.

“We cannot exclude that there could be excesses, with certain demonstrators seeking media attention,” said Olivier Zingg, director of Geo-Energie Jura. “Safety comes first,” he told Keystone-ATS. Contacted, the cantonal police for their part indicated that they had no signals regarding possible action.

Last Friday, around a hundred people demonstrated in front of the site. One opponent notably managed to enter the enclosure closed to the public and unfurl a banner. Barriers had been violently shaken and a tractor had sprayed the site with manure.

Criminal complaint

Olivier Zingg confirmed that a complaint will be filed for violation of property and material damage, particularly to barriers. He reiterated that Friday’s incidents were unacceptable while noting that security had worked well with the rapid arrival of the police and the presence of a security company.

Geo-Energie Suisse and Geo-Energie Jura invited the media to a press conference followed by a site visit on Wednesday. This involved providing information on the drilling work, on the safety measures and on the continuation of the operations planned for this project. “We didn’t have an emergency to communicate,” noted Olivier Zingg.

Contested project

The project’s first drilling began on May 21 and is expected to reach a depth of approximately 4,000 meters by September. Part of the population and the political world are showing concern, even outright hostility. She fears that this experiment will carry risks of seismicity and affect water withdrawals.

The cancellation of the press conference illustrates this tension which remains high. Slogans hostile to deep geothermal energy are plastered in the field adjacent to the drilling site. In September, a thousand opponents expressed their refusal of geothermal energy during a demonstration in Delémont. Acts of vandalism also took place. /ATS-cdf

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