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  • Generating Station Accident 25/04/14

    ESG Press Release – 25th April 2014

    Power Generation – Recent accident

    Recent accident at the Waterport GibElec Plant prompted the following statement from the ESG:- 

    The ESG is concerned about the ongoing delays caused by the absence of, as yet, a fully compliant, modern power station using best available technology and standards. While GoG, may have delayed the original project with its best intentions, it is clear that the current infrastructure and available equipment cannot support energy demands for much longer. Witness Monday’s heavy and persistent white smoke emanating from the OESCO plant in the south district, giving testimony to the ‘unfit for purpose’ range of power generation available today, outside of the new temporary, turbines based at the North Mole.
    It is positive to hear that further interim measures are being taken – i.e. with the provision of additional, portable generators. However, these will produce their own quota of air and noise pollution and ideally should be sited away from residential areas.

    The ESG has campaigned for a decade and a half for a new power station, to eliminate the intolerable levels of pollution residents of the south and northwest residential areas are subjected to. We have seen pollution at these sites grow as energy demand grows and therefore the new, replacement power station becomes an ever more urgent and top priority.

    The interim measures taken by the Gibraltar Government to lower pollutant levels in the south district with the recent closure of OESCO plant had brought some relief to that area, although the use of the decrepit ISGS station (ex MoD) next to it provided more than its fair share of air and noise pollution. These measures are now over as these stations try and pick up the energy draw which is usually supplied by GibElec Station, which as far as the ESG understands, remains closed. Monday afternoon saw residents in the south once again subjected to high levels of choking smoke pollution (for approximately two hours), as the ageing stations struggled to respond to the emergency situation of filling the energy gap.

    However the authorities try to mitigate and address this issue, the tender for the new replacement power station must be awarded without further delay. This latest incident acts as a reminder that industrial accidents can and do happen.


    Apart from the immediate danger of the fire or explosion, the associated toxic smoke produced, can heavily impact the surrounding area and is a health and safety hazard in its own right. It is hoped that more lessons will have been learnt from this latest incident as Gibraltar heads towards the imminent construction of the next generation power station at the North Mole.


    The group would like to add its thanks to the professional response of all emergency services and to Radio Gibraltar and the GBC, for providing real-time updates and information.

    “The ESG believes that Gibraltar must focus on the fundamental projects of getting our basic workings and sustainable footprint in order before we continue with a considerable plan of development and expansion”, said a spokesperson, “These should be on energy generation – including renewable energy; waste management with all that this entails – including the necessary provision of suitable land and other resources; and a modern and compliant sewer plant.”

    ESG Radio Broadcast 15/04/14

    ESG Radio Broadcast

    Key Words: DPC and Stadium, Sullage Tank Farm, Masts, Caleta Hotel, World Trade Centre, Commonwealth Park

    It would be difficult to have a newsletter today and not refer to the outcome of various significant events of last week. I am talking, of course, about the proposed Stadium at Europa Point and the green light awarded by DPC to Nature Company plc to proceed in its efforts to resume its operation at the North Mole. For the stadium there was an unprecedented level of public participation in what is now, a transparent process in terms of DPC evaluating applications. It was most welcome to hear, as an NGO working for many years to protect and cherish our living environment, such heartfelt and impassioned objections made by several campaign representatives, on the need to preserve a valued open area. Many points were also made on the practical concerns against Europa Pt as best choice for a large stadium as that proposed. The subsequent media statements on detailed evaluations and analysis that the GFA will now undertake on all possible sites is also welcome and hopefully will yield actual potential alternatives to Europa Point. A meaningless task if not one single alternative is identified. We believe all sites should be given a thorough review including the latest proposed at the Dockyard site.


    We continue to harbour several concerns as per our published press release on the environmental impacts such a project would have at Europa Point, and for those of you who may have missed this kindly note you can find this on our website at: esg-gib.net.


    Another issue that sadly did not receive similar public participation and was somewhat overshadowed by the stadium campaign, was the Sullage Tank Farm application. This project stands to impact the environment somewhat differently, but nevertheless, poses a potential threat to the quality of life and well being of many hundreds of residents on the Rock. The ESG objected to this at the DPC mtg on the grounds of the threat of new pollution in the area, and because the company itself is facing court proceedings due to the accident that occurred on site three years ago which saw the loss of a life, several injuries and extreme pollution. We believe that until this case is resolved and full culpability attributed, and rightful compensation awarded to the family of the contract worker, that it is premature for the company to be allowed to operate once again.


    Although the court case is outside the remit of the DPC it is not so of Government, that now has to consider issuing a new operating licence to this company. We shall be monitoring this closely.


    The DPC will be considering projects in the near future such as new plans for the widespread installation of mobile phone masts, the Caleta Hotel, as well as the World Trade Centre, among others. Be sure to check out the DPC agenda page on the Town Planning site to keep informed!


    The emergence of a green area in the heart of town is very positive to see as Commonwealth Park reaches its final stages. We hope that additional green spaces, trees and green roofs will also be incorporated into other concrete jungle developments in Gibraltar breathing life into the areas and combatting the effects of air pollution, while also providing much needed shade.


    Check out our website at esg-gib.net, email us at esg@gibtelecom.net or contact us at 200-48996 or mobile 54960000