AN environmental education centre and “Aula del Mar” culture hall were opened yesterday at Can Salas, a refurbished building in El Molinar in Palma known as Sa Petrolera.

Financed by Palma City Council and the Balearic government, the project has been completed at a cost of 1.2 million euros. Attending the opening yesterday were regional Environment Minister, Gabriel Vicens and Transport Councillor Jose Hila.

The first exhibition at Sa Petrolera is entitled “Can Salas 1881-2010” and traces the urban history of El Molinar over the past 130 years. Included in the exhibition is memorabilia from the period when there was an oil refinery (from which the building gets its name) and a cologne and soap factory in the area.

The “Aula del Mar” (Sea Hall) will be mostly used by schoolchildren as a meeting point, group discussion centre, a place for workshops, and for biological and geological practical lessons.

Balearic environmental resource group CREAIB will use Sa Petrolera for archive and library purposes.