Alicante fights fuel plant
Plans presented to build 18 huge deposits to store 711,000 cubic metres
By James Parkes ALICANTE city is unanimously crying out against plans to create a huge fuel storage plant in the harbour.
The project to build up to 18 macro-deposits capable of storing up to 711,000 cubic metres of fuel has been presented by the port authorities and is currently in its public allegations process – which promises to be a hefty task.
So far all political parties represented on the city council (PP, PSOE, Guanyar, C's, and Compromis) have approved a joint objection against the plant in a full council meeting. Mayor Luis Barcala (PP) said he already stated his opposition to the scheme a month ago when it was first presented.
Alicante residents' associations are also set to present their complaints over what they regard as ‘a lethal weapon’ and ‘sea pollution’ in the area.
The port authorities insist the project abides to current legislation, follows the rule set in the city plan (PGOU) approved in 1987 and the current ‘Plan Especial del Puerto’ har- bour guidelines. Hence, they assure, there are no legal grounds to scrap the plans.
In addition, opponents have admitted it is a legal acitivity and are aware that after signing an agreement in 1995 to move the CLH company, neither the city hall nor the port authorities have changed their plans to ban activities related to fuel processing.
Objections can be presented until November 12, but there is no time limit for how long it can take to consider these, and depending on the number – which is expected to be very high – the process could drag on until after the next local elections in May.
Meanwhile, the company expects to have the first two mega-tanks finished next year and that all 18 will be built by 2022. A lorry driver who was five times over the alcohol limit was arrested on the A-30 motorway at the Puerto de la Cadena between Cartagena and Murcia. The driver was transporting freight for a local supermarket on Thursday when he was stopped at a Guardia Civil checkpoint. A force spokesman said the man was tested because he clearly seemed to be under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and taken to court in Murcia for a fasttrack trial. His vehicle was immobilised until the transport company sent another driver to collect it.
An aerial view of Alicante harbour