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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 230513

    ESG Radio Newsletter 23rd May 2013

    Today we would like to review a number of environmental issues – we start with concerns over the high levels of sewage at Western Beach still being detected by the Environmental Agency sampling programme as recently as mid May. Some contaminants are registering at over 10 times the “guide limits”, while others are double the mandatory limit – meaning illegal levels and unsafe to bathe in, calling for the beach to be closed. We heard Sir Graham Watson discussing the matter last night from Brussels on GBC and welcome his support, of course, but it is a shame it is taking so long to resolve.

    Another item that caught our eye was the concrete platform on Catalan Bay beach –one assumes it’s related to the play area but did it need to be that big? We shall be making enquiries in that direction. On the positive side, it is great to see beaches like Sandy Bay get the much needed infrastructural works it is now receiving. That coastline has taken a battering over the years, good to see it being strengthened and receiving some tlc at long last.

    Yesterday’s brief power cut also brings us to another matter, that of electricity supply for the Rock.
    This is a subject that matters to everyone, because it affects everyone. The ESG has had a special interest in our heavily polluting power stations and have campaigned for over a decade for a modern power plant to be built to best available technology and replace these as soon as possible. When Govt finally released a tender specification for the next generation power station we issued a positive statement welcoming this long awaited development.

    We then rec’d a number of enquiries from members of the public ranging from technical questions to issues of environmental safety and so our technical advisers put together a comprehensive paper outlining our views on this important issue. It’s clear that a new power station must be completed as soon as possible to remove heavy pollution from our neighbourhoods and to secure power supply for the community. You can find this and other statements on our website at esg-gib.net, under the news section- link as follows:-


    Regarding the CEPSA Oil Refinery and recent episodes of heavy pollution –we are investigating this issue and have contacted the company to ask for an explanation of what happened. Concerns were raised on both sides of the border but were not followed by any public announcement either from the Spanish authorities or the Refinery. We know only too well that fumes from this plant are toxic and harmful to health and they are legally obliged to limit such episodes to periods of breakdown or power failure only–explanations will be sought.

    This week we were invited to a meeting with the Chief Minister and Ministers for the Environment and Planning to discuss our concerns surrounding the preparatory works underway for the Floating Hotel– with the reclamation of an important water feature as a car park a serious concern. Discussions continue and we shall also update on this soon.

    Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission held their monthly meeting this morning: A reminder that you can keep up with the agendas and minutes of all meetings online by going to “Town Planning Gibraltar” and clicking on DPC. There was nothing too contentious on there this morning but you may find it interesting reading nonetheless.

    One last point is about our face book page on mobile phone masts now up and running and attracting a growing amount of interest. Why not visit our page, send us a comment or question on this issue? Search for MobilePhoneMast Concern Gibraltar. Our technical advisers update the page with news and info and are happy to provide answers to specific questions or concerns.

    You can contact us by emailing esg@gibtelecom.net , calling 200-48996 or ringing mobile 54960000
    Thanks for listening.

    Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission meet 230513

    Copy and paste the following link:-


    This weeks DPC agenda.

    ESG on New Power Station for Gibraltar


    New Power Station – May 2013

    For the sake of clarity and because we are being approached by members of the community with questions regarding our support of Governments new power station plans, we feel its important to state our position clearly. Although Government has already provided considerable detail via the tender process of the technology choices it favours for the new generating station, the specifics are not yet known. These will be fully understood once the tender has been awarded and an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) is carried out.

    In broad terms we favour the decision by Government to construct a state of the art, environmentally friendly station based on best practice and best available technology and this is what we are supporting. There are a number of variables not yet known that could influence the environmental performance criteria: this include piston engines, combustion gas turbines, or steam turbines via a boiler heated by gas.

    The ESG has proposed that combustion turbines with heat recovery from high temperature exhaust for desalination would be our preferred option and this has been submitted at meetings with Government. Combustion turbines are currently being used at the site with very clean exhaust emissions. This would make our new power station a “combined cycle power station” giving us electricity and virtually free desalinated water. The added benefit of this would be a further reduction of Gibraltar’s electricity demand which at present is very high due to electrically run “Reverse Osmosis” plants.

    This system would increase the efficiency of our power station dramatically as we would be extracting much more energy from the fuel used to produce electricity and water with the same fuel consumption used by the power station itself.

    The location by the sea would be ideal for this set up. However there have been concerns raised about the location. Our preferred locations have been Lathbury or the old incinerator site due to pollution dispersal and distance from residential areas. However these were discarded due to cost and the proposed location is the next best available site. If best available technology is used with combustion turbines and urea scrubbers to remove NOx emissions, in proper acoustic enclosures, in a suitably sound proofed building, with flash desalination plant being run from the turbine exhaust, we could then get a very good and cost effective power station that is quiet and clean to operate. A massive improvement and a world apart to what we have at present.

    If we get a piston engine power station with no scrubbers or inadequate sound proofing then we would have a power station which is better than what we have now but not as good as we could have had and an opportunity lost. From our discussions with Government this is not a likely scenario.

    Our proposal will be that since the storage of gas is for emergency operation only and dual fuel engines are being requested that emergency storage should be for diesel and not for gas. Diesel storage is much safer and already happens in Gibraltar at our present power stations.

    Another point that needs to be raised is that Government needs to prevent any further development of residential areas near the proposed plant site; otherwise we will end up with the same situation as at present with power stations surrounded by residential areas.

    In our last press release we also urged Government to run a parallel renewable energy programme to ensure that it meets its carbon neutral target as soon as possible.

    The ESG hopes to have clarified some issues which have been raised with the group and invites members of the public to send us any questions or concerns to our email at esg@gibtelecom.net. Our technical advisers will be happy to give our position on what is after all, a major project for our community.

    New Govt website 150513


    Find current Government green policies and news


    ESG Radio Newsletter 9th May 2013

    Lots to talk about today –have your pen and paper handy as we shall be giving you links and information you may be interested in following up. If you miss this however, just visit our website where this newsletter will be posted in full. That’s at esg-gib.net.

    On Energy matters – We are absolutely delighted to finally see the tender announcement yesterday by Government for the new replacement Power Generating Station for Gibraltar. With the completion of tender submissions in by the 1st August, we hope the successful bidder is appointed soon after. With various preparatory measures and EIA before starting works, it suggests that the new plant could be up and running by mid 2015. Apart from the essential removal of air and noise pollution from our environment, and from worst affected neighbourhoods, Gibraltar will, practically overnight, finally comply with EU Directives on pollution, given the power stations have been the worst offender. Great news Gibraltar!!

    On another current issue we now go to the Floatel – The ESG is as dismayed as many in the community over the manner in which the floating hotel project is being presented. Our views were expressed at the last DPC meeting. Recent media quotes from vessel owners had announced that the Floatel would be subject to the local planning process. This was reassuring as it showed a willingness to work with the community it was planning to become a part of. Given the size of the vessel, and the reclamation for a car park, it was unsettling to hear at the DPC meeting, that this project had become Government sponsored over night; meaning that while we could hear about the plans, the DPC could not influence its trajectory to a seemingly inevitable conclusion. Govt projects currently go to DPC for comment, but not for permission.

    This is why we are making internal and public representations to try and influence this outcome as we believe this project needs to be fully assessed: over conflict of land use- impact on quality of life and the natural environment – and to consider the potential long term implications of use of the new car park area should the vessel leave Gibraltar after a short stay. The planned dredging within a leisure and residential area of a significant amount of contaminated material, along with the impact from car movements, fumes and noise, on pedestrians and residents, has to be properly quantified. Reports have reached us that crabs are being plucked form the seabed and boats are being removed from their moorings at the site. We therefore call for a full EIA to be done and for this project to go through the DPC and be judged on its true merits and true impacts. Visit www.esg-gib.net for updates on this matter.

    Moving on to our Earth Day Stall and launch of an awareness campaign on Mobile Phone Masts. This event attracted much interest and discussion and we are pleased to announce that our dedicated Facebook page on this issue will be active over the weekend – and can be found by going to
    mobile phone masts concern Gibraltar.
    You will see information about the aims of the campaign posted here and it is our intention that the page will be updated frequently. The idea is for members of the public to access information as well as send in questions and comments and our technical advisers will do their best to respond.

    Ok, update on Clean up the World –we are very pleased to announce plans for a summer campaign working with local services and schools – also 2013 date is confirmed as the 21st September. Listeners may also like to know that the UK television company, ITV, here last year filming for a number of programmes on Gibraltar have just informed us that last years Clean up Day will feature on Channel 5 on the 11th June at 8pm UK time.

    We are very proud that the world will see how our community pulls together in this inspiring environmental campaign every year to clean up our natural environment and demonstrate civic pride via this Gibraltar wide hands on campaign.

    Thank you for listening –plse contact us at esg@gibtelecom.net tel: 200-48996 and 54960000


    MAY 9TH 2013 – The ESG is delighted to hear Governments public announcement with its decision on the replacement, new power station for Gibraltar. Given the pollution suffered by many, the news does not come a day too soon. It is hoped that the tender allocation can be decided soon after the 1st of August so that plans for construction can get underway as soon as possile.

    The ESG acknowledges the hard work that has gone into researching the best energy choice for Gibraltar today by Government. While using a cleaner fossil fuel based technology in gas, the group also hopes that Government will follow this with a proactive renewable energy programme to enable it to reach its carbon neutral target status to take us onto the next important step of energy security and sustainability.