"The ESG wishes to make clear that it intends to place its weight behind every effort to stop plans to build a new Iranian/Spanish Oil Refinery in the Bay, notably Algeciras.

This region, says the group, is already under considerable pressure from the poorly managed CEPSA Refinery in San Roque. The long-term air and water emissions from the Petrochemical complex are widely believed to be causing higher rates of cancers and other diseases leading the Bay to be part of the “Triangle of Higher Mortality” studies published by the esteemed Professor Joan Benach, a public health expert from Barcelona and his team.

The ESG, with the support of the international law firm Hassan’s, and the Gibraltar office in Brussels, is awaiting news from the European Commission on the compliance standards at the CEPSA Plant, as its emissions continue to cause concern among bay populations.

The prospect, therefore, of a second Oil Refinery going up in our Bay is totally unacceptable and we sincerely hope that all tiers of civil society, both here and throughout the Bay, will join the fight to prevent this from happening.

Another factor, which must be considered, is the effort Europe is making to rule out future fossil fuel use as it joins the world in addressing climate change challenges and meeting targets. We shall also therefore be lobbying Brussels to urge them not to issue any permits for new refineries and stop any major expansion of the present refinery.

The ESG will be taking this issue up with Government and other long-term partners in the region to explore the next steps."