As well as it is known that it is goodbye to the Refinery that the Spanish Petroleum Company, SA (Cepsa) inaugurated back in 1930 in what was then the outskirts of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the images that accompany these lines where the beginning of The demolition of the iconic fuel tanks that have been part of the capital’s landscape as it enters the South of the Island, reflects the inexorability of this process and, without a doubt, will have its history in the history of this city.
It was on September 26, 1929 when Cepsa was established, which initially had concessions in Venezuela and soon planned to create the “Tenerife” refinery to provide access to these and future concessions where the company would increase its participation. The chosen area was far from being part of the urban center of Santa Cruz in the 1930s, given that to get there you had to walk along paths flanked by the existing banana plantations where the Avenida de los Reyes Católicos is now located. or a good part of the La Salle neighborhood.
Of course, the opening of the Refinery was a milestone for Santa Cruz society, as it was the implementation of the most relevant industry known until then in the entire Canary Islands. It is estimated that, in its moments of greatest splendor, some 1,700 families progressed thanks to the salaries generated both directly by the employees hired by Cepsa and by the businesses that emerged on the Island in relation to the different products derived from refining.
To all this we must add the advantages of the food and textile commissaries created in favor of the Refinery workers and, as if that were not enough, Cepsa invested in the construction of neighborhoods such as Buenos Aires, to provide decent housing. to the employees who lacked them at a time when shantytowns reigned in Cabo Llanos and El Cabo.
But time passes, and what was the first refinery to come into operation in Spanish territory ended up degenerating into serious problems for coexistence, since its facilities, which covered some 500,000 square meters, ended up integrated into the urban core and contaminating the air that the neighbors breathed, despite the fact that the improvements implemented in the 1980s significantly reduced the harmful effects of such proximity.
In 2018, the complete closure of the Refinery was agreed and, thanks to the agreements reached between the oil company and the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council, it is expected that by 2030 both the dismantling of the facilities and the decontamination of its soils will have been completed. which represents a formidable opportunity for the urban development of a city like Santa Cruz, whose geographical limitations are such that they prevent alternatives with such potential.
Be that as it may, and despite the fact that all Santacruceros have known for a long time that the Refinery was reduced to a mere warehouse for the transfer of hydrocarbons for years, yesterday they were able to personally verify that those symbolic fuel tanks are already fodder for the pickaxe. .
As Mayor José Manuel Bermúdez announced five years ago, the future is called Santa Cruz Verde 2030, and contemplates the opening to the sea through a large system of open spaces connected to the Palmetum and the Maritime Park, as well as the regeneration of the coastline through a bathing or beach area, a marina and a pedestrian and cycling promenade, also forming a large multifunctional public space. Soon that future will be present.