Iran has ‘no plans for Campo refinery’, Spanish Government says
The Spanish Government said it has "no knowledge" of any plans by Iran to build a new refinery in the Bay of Gibraltar.
The government was responding to a parliamentary question tabled by the Unidos Podemos-En Marea MP Noelia Vera Ruíz-Herrera, who asked for information on the Iranian plans after media reports last year.
“The government, through its Ministry for Energy, Tourism and Digital, has no knowledge of any application having been presented for construction of a new refinery in the Campo de Gibraltar,” the government said in its response, which was published today in the official bulletin of the Congreso de los Diputados, the Spanish parliament.
The news will be welcomed by environmental campaigners on both sides of the border, who had expressed concern at the prospect of another refinery in area that is already heavily industrialised.
The supposed Iranian plan was first raised by Spain’s former Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, during a press briefing in Brussels early last year after sanctions against Iran were lifted.
Sr García-Margallo had sought to link the plan to the Spanish Government’s efforts to create employment in the Campo ahead of Brexit.
“The possibility of Iran setting up a refinery in Spain, more specifically in Algeciras, is being studied,” he told reporters at the time.
“This would contribute to creating jobs in the Campo de Gibraltar, which has been one of my concerns.”