13-11-2018

Regional energy minister Marc Pons has issued an assurance that electricity needs in the Balearics will be met despite the closure of two production units at the Es Murterar power station in Alcudia in 2020 and the eventual total closure at a time yet to be announced.

Other power stations, renewable sources and supplies from the mainland will cover all needs, Pons says. The government made clear two years ago that it intended to close the two units at Es Murterar by 2020. This was in order to come into line with European Union requirements for emissions and because Es Murterar, which relies mostly on coal, has not been adapted to these requirements.

Employees at Es Murterar, who staged a protest against the closure on Monday, argue that the government has deployed an "administrative block" to make it impossible for investment to be made at the power station in order to cut emissions and so contribute to EU targets.

They restated their view that the closure of the units will leave the Balearics vulnerable and could lead to a breakdown in electricity supplies similar to one in Minorca recently when cables and pylons were brought down by a tornado.

The protesters were joined by workers from the Lloseta Cemex cement works, who face losing their jobs because of the closure of the plant. With the Es Murterar workers, the government has always insisted that there will be new jobs at renewable energy plants. Pons explains that the government will be "designing a future model that takes account of union demands".

Seven hundred jobs, direct and indirect, are expected to go because of the eventual total closure of Es Murterar.