Green campaigners protest as Margallo insists on new Algeciras refinery
Spain’s acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, insisted again this week that Iranian and Spanish investors were actively studying building a new refinery in Algeciras, drawing an angry response from environmental campaigners here and in Spain.
The minister made the comments during a visit to Morocco and said he would “help and do whatever possible” to make the project a reality.
He said the project envisaged construction of a 1.8 billion euro refinery capable of producing 120,000 barrels of oil a day.
The prospect of a new refinery in the heavily industrialised bay area has drawn heavy criticism from environmental groups on both side of the border.
In Spain, campaigners called on the Junta de Andalucia to provide exact details of where the refinery would be built, given that the Campo area is already home to numerous heavy industries.
In Gibraltar, the Environmental Safety Group said it had discussed the project with Spanish groups and highlighted the negative impact on health and the environment that the scheme would have.
“Public statements by the acting Foreign Minister Margallo…show a total lack of understanding of the impact the existing petrochemical industry has had on the health of bay residents and the living environment,” the group said.
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