Es Murterar power station. | EFE


In 2004, there was an agreement between Alcudia town hall and Endesa for ownership of the old power station to be transferred to the town hall. Under this arrangement, Endesa were to have their waste tax cut by two-thirds and there was to also be a “legalisation” in respect of pending licences for two of the four production units at the Es Murterar power station - units 3 and 4, the more recent ones.

In addition to the site of the old power station, the town hall was due to have received surrounding land, for which there was an anticipated cost of 60,000 euros for upgrading.

This was a few short years before the announcement of the winning architectural project for converting the power station into an arts and sciences museum. The town hall trusted that the Council of Mallorca would be in charge of this conversion, which would have therefore meant footing the bill.

As we all know, the project never got off the ground. Financial crisis emerged almost at the same time as the announcement was made. The then mayor, Miquel Ferrer, had to admit that funding would be impossible. It was to be some years later before the Council of Mallorca formally stated that the project would not go ahead, but by then no one anticipated that it would.

So what happened to this transfer agreement? It would appear that the town hall, and Ferrer was mayor in 2004, never registered the power station in its name, and so the transfer was never effected. Why not? Good question. One reason may well have been the cost once ownership was transferred. While there was hope that the Council might have funded it, the most recent development - the sale by Endesa to investors Gingko - has highlighted the cost of decontamination if nothing else. This alone is put at twenty million euros.

The sale to Gingko, for what Endesa say was a “symbolic” amount, does seem to complicate the plans for the power station, i.e. its redevelopment as Alcudia TechMar. Endesa have explained that Gingko have experience of regeneration projects, but then Gingko also want to build apartments - not on the power station site but close by in the area of the sixteenth-century Torre Major. The town hall says that apartments don’t fit in with the Alcudia TechMar scheme.

If the apartments don’t fit the project, where does Gingko fit in anyway? Is funding for Alcudia TechMar not due to come from EU Next Generation funds as a project of strategic importance?