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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.”