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  • ESG reponds to CEPSA anouncement

    The announcement by Cepsa Limited that they will be investing €32m in environmental projects is to be welcomed by everyone, so long as the investment is made soon and the monies applied effectively, with CEPSA’s willingness to fund further projects if necessary.

    There are various matters raised as reported in the newspaper Europa Sur which we are forced to comment on.

    In the first place the investment, whilst big, is only one-fifth of the total amount of money that Cepsa are going to invest in security, quality and control. Moreover, the indication given by the Director of Refino de Cepsa that the two Andalucian plants have the lowest emissions in Europe flies in the face of data which indicated the complete opposite

    Finally, the report refers to Cepsa having entered into voluntary agreements with the Junta de Andalucía to establish more rigorous systems of control and security as well as the reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions. Cepsa may well have done that and that is also to be welcomed. However, Cepsa also had to submit to an audit for the purposes of obtaining their IPPC certification and that information rests with the Junta.

    The ESG is in correspondence with the Junta to have access to the results of that audit under the European Directive on Freedom of Access to Environmental Information. At present the Junta are asking for permission from Cepsa to release the data on the grounds that it was provided voluntarily. This is clearly not the case and the matter is being pursued.

    The ESG is in little doubt that this announcement by Cepsa can only be the result of the increasing pressure that has been put on Cepsa by the ESG and other NGO’s in the course of the last seven years. This pressure has taken the form of direct correspondence, the involvement of international bodies and persons, including the European Commissioner for the Environment. It has also involved correspondence with the majority shareholder of Cepsa, Total.

    It is ironic that, after outright denial of any significant environmental problems for the last number of years from CEPSA, that we are now hearing about voluntary agreements with La Junta and also investment in reducing such impacts. This shows that all the time the industry was denying such problems, this was most certainly not the case and our campaign and concerns of heavy pollution have once again been vindicated.