This project’s title is Alcudia Tech Mar. | Archives


It has only taken around forty years, but now, and after at least one major false dawn of transformation, the Alcanada power station is a step closer to being restored and to being put to some use. The Balearic government, awash with European Next Generation funds, has included the project to turn the power station into an international centre for the decarbonisation of the sea in its 2030 investment strategy. The actual investment is put at 103 million euros.

This project’s title is Alcudia Tech Mar. The power station would be converted into, among other things, a sub-headquarters for the UN’s environment programme and a centre for the University of the Balearic Islands’ school of nautical engineering. But, above all, Tech Mar would be an international reference point in the western Mediterranean in accommodating the future European Centre for the Decarbonisation of the Sea.

So it has been explained, most transport decarbonisation projects have until now focused on transport on land. Attention is now being turned to maritime transport and to energy transition - substituting fossil fuels for more sustainable ones.

The presentation of the project rather grandly compares the whole thing with the Neolithic period. “We currently interact with the sea as if we were in the Neolithic era - as hunters and gatherers. We have to learn to be protectors and cultivators. If Neolithic man developed agriculture in order to feed the population, we are now moving towards a deadline to develop marine crops - plants and algae - in a sustainable aquaculture. Our actions must also eliminate the acidification of the oceans and its pollution on the entire spectrum.”

There you are. Bet you never knew that a rusting old heap of long decommissioned power station could be conceived in Neolithic terms. You do now.

Alcudia town hall is the main promoter of the scheme. And so you would expect it to be. Forty years of scratching heads in knowing what on Earth to do with the power station. Mayor Barbara Rebassa has declared herself “very happy” with the inclusion of Alcudia Tech Mar in the investment plan. “It is an important milestone, but we know that there is still a long way to go. The intention is to protect and breathe new life into the plant.”

This combination of protection and revival depends greatly on the Council of Mallorca’s heritage department. Hence there is a situation whereby the department is waiting to see what comes of the project before deciding, definitively, what level of protection there is. In essence, this can’t be too strict or it would scupper the potential for the power station to be redeveloped as an industrial site while at the same time retaining heritage features.

A key player in all this is Endesa, who own the site. The energy company, for its part, has said that inclusion in the investment plan is “a good beginning for a great project”. “It could be a very good opportunity for Alcanada.” Indeed it could, and for Endesa as well. Having sold the Poblat Gesa that is opposite the power station for luxury bungalow redevelopment, a more attractive view than the current one must surely have featured in the developer’s plans.