The Cepsa refinery begins its departure from Santa Cruz de Tenerife after 92 years and leaves 576,000 square meters to develop

The Cepsa refinery in Santa Cruz de Tenerife has begun its dismantling process this Monday after 92 years of activity and leaves the city 576,000 square meters in which the capital of Tenerife proposes an urban planning from scratch marked by “sustainability” .

The urbanization of the Refinery in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is "an example of authoritarian urbanism"according to United We Can

The urbanization of the Refinery in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is “an example of authoritarian urbanism”, according to United We Can

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The hoisting of an oil container by a crane has been the symbolic act that began this transfer, described as “historic” by the attending authorities: the Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres , the president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, and the mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, with the CEO of Cepsa, Maarten Wetselaar, as host.

Since its installation in 1930, the city has ended up surrounding the refinery, which since 2014 no longer carries out refining activities but instead stores fuel for distribution throughout the islands, an activity that will be transferred, in a de-installation process that will last until 2030, to the industrial estate of Granadilla, in the south of the island.

“Removing an industrial activity from the city” offers Santa Cruz de Tenerife a unique opportunity to reorder the city from a sustainable standpoint and points the way towards one hundred percent decarbonised islands”, highlighted the Minister of Ecological Transition.

However, the opposition in the City Council has criticized the urbanization model of the land that is intended to be imposed.

Ramón Trujillo, spokesperson for United We Can (Izquierda Unida, Podemos, Equo) in the City Council, affirms that the urbanization process of the space occupied by the Refinery is already “an example of authoritarian urbanism, because the urban design of that space stems from a Cepsa proposal negotiated behind closed doors with the mayor. They have decided to touristize the city, they have not evaluated how to compensate with social housing, they have agreed on green spaces, infrastructure and have ruled out any alternative global proposal, without listening to anyone, ”he pointed out in mid-March.

Trujillo mentions the study published a few months ago by the German geographer Marcus Hübscher, under the title of Planning behind closed doors, in which a former president of the College of Architects of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is quoted stating that Cepsa and the City Council met “almost secretly ”, to agree on Santa Cruz Verde 2030, a project that, as he stated, “lacks strategic ideas, has no ideas about what the city is, absolutely nothing”. He did not consult the neighborhood groups, nor the opposition parties, nor the University, nor the groups in defense of the environment.

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