THE centre piece of Palma's new aquarium, being built in Ses Fontanelles, is almost finished. In fact, by the end of this month, a structure which will hold the principal tank (with a capacity of 3.5 million litres) as well as 55 smaller tanks will be ready to go. However, the construction of the project will not be complete until work on all the smaller tanks and the vast network of water piping and electrical circuits draws to a close, in conjunction with final touches to the main tank and other external decoration. Originally conceived of as an educational project by Coral World International, the aquarium is aimed at raising public awareness on environmental issues. The budget for the 54'000 square metre aquarium is set at 25 million euros. Water for the tanks will be taken from the sea, purified and treated to adapt to the needs of the species which will be kept in the aquarium. Similarly, outgoing water will be filtered and processed before being returned to the sea. Project director David Oliver confirmed the main building will have a surface area of 7'513 square metres, a landscaped garden zone of 41'825 square metres which will house external aquatic tanks and a carpark covering 4'900 square metres. He added that work is on schedule to finish by the middle of next year. On entrance, visitors will be introduced to the aquarium by means of audio-visual aids.