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Progress check on la Savina port upgrades

Foto visita obres portThe president, vice-president and infrastructure councillor of the Formentera Council accompanied the director of Spain's national ports and the head of the Balearic port authority (APB) on a visit of upgrades under way at la Savina port. Jaume Ferrer, Bartomeu Escandell and Rafael González were joined by José Llorca and Joan Gual de Torrella, who took the opportunity to announce the project's estimated May 31 completion.

In welcoming the representatives of regional and state ports, President Ferrer highlighted the importance of the two officials' Formentera visit, citing several la Savina harbour improvement projects presently afoot, all of which have enjoyed the cooperation of multiple agencies.

The chief of national ports traced his agency's work with the Formentera administration to ordinances which put land use within the domain of local authorities. The head of APB, for his part, described the current upgrades part of a broader effort to “guarantee transport and supply”.

A lighthouse built around culture
Under an agreement between APB and the Formentera Council, la Mola's lighthouse—a cultural heritage site property of the administration of Balearic ports—will be loaned to the Council, which has promised to use the space for cultural programming. President Ferrer indicated his administration is now finalising plans to revamp the space and expressed hope the undertaking be completed by the start of next summer.

Plans unveiled for new reinforced power cable linking Eivissa and Formentera

Presentacio nou cable electricEarlier this evening, the Govern's minister of energy, Marc Pons, stood before members of the Formentera Council to share details surrounding a new undersea power cable the Palma administration hopes to run from Eivissa to Formentera. Today is the first day of public notice of the nearly €78-million project.

CiF chair Jaume Ferrer said calls for the cable went back years and characterised it as “an essential investment for our energy system”. According to the Council head, the cable will do away with the noise and emissions problems faced by residents near the power station in the Es Ca Marí neighbourhood. The Council, he pledged, will present its own review of the scheme along with suggested improvements. Ferrer also intimated that the administration would push to minimise any knock-on effects, particularly in inland portions of the project.

Technical features
The project, which officials predicted would be complete between 2019 and 2020, envisions construction on Formentera of an ancillary power station rigged for 132 kilowatts (kW), expansion of Eivissa's existing 132-kW station, “Torrent,” burial of ground portions of cables on both islands, installation of the underwater cable itself and a tripolar linkage with integrated, AC fibre-optic connections. Undersea operations will not exceed a depth of 65 metres, nominal tension of 132 kW and 100 megawatt power.

Plans for the cable reflect an attempt to address the shortcomings long plaguing Formentera's summer electricity supply while sidestepping new infrastructure that would generate power locally. Today, the connection between the islands is equipped for 30 kW, though near constant snags have threatened the stability of Formentera's energy supplies.

In attendance at the presentation were Alejandra Ferrer, Rafael González and Daisee Aguilera, the Council's heads of land, infrastructure/IT and environment/energy, respectively. Also in tow were the Govern's director general of energy and climate change, Joan Groizard, the regional envoy of Spain's power grid, Eduardo Maynau, and the Govern delegation's chief of industry, José Ignacio Pradas.

Officials stop in to track progress at Es Pujols improvements

Foto visita es pujolsFormentera Council leadership was joined by three Govern officials on a visit to the site of improvements in Es Pujols. CiF chairman Jaume Ferrer and vice-chair Bartomeu Escandell, as well as Alejandra Ferrer, Rafael González and Sònia Cardona (Formentera's land/tourism, infrastructure and community involvement councillors, respectively) met with the Palma administration's vice-president and tourism councillor, Biel Barceló, and president's office chief Pilar Costa, to see the project as it nears completion.

Improvements included a full overhaul of public utilities such as sanitation (rain water and sewerage) and water supply (for fire hydrants and street cleaning) plus burial of the overhead cables used for electricity and telecommunications. Crews also repaved the road surface, making use of the same stone that was used for upgrades of Plaça Europa's pedestrian walkways and the town's waterfront promenade.

Twenty per cent, or €484,000, of the current €2.4 million project was paid for with revenue from the sustainable tourism tax. The remaining 80 per cent (€1.9m) was financed by the Formentera Council.

Bundle of hashish turns up on beach

Rroballa poli local formentera 2At 8.00am this morning Formentera local police were tipped off by a resident of es Pujols about a suspicious package on the town's shore. The officers arrived on the scene and found the object in question: a bundle containing what appeared to be hashish. Police immediately turned over the item to the Guardia Civil, which will oversee the ensuing investigation.

Forest buffer zone incorporated into es Ram swath of la Mola

Faixa forestal es ram fotoThe president's office of the Formentera Council has enlisted a specialist firm in a bid to fireproof a wooded area in the es Ram neighbourhood of la Mola. Beginning at camí d'es Ram, the buffer zone stretches from the highway to the waterline and measures 1,700 metres (m) by an average of 17.5m.

Department head Bartomeu Escandell framed the measure as “risk reduction in a characteristically fire prone part of the island”. The undertaking involved thinning out the height and expanse of growth and setting up structures which can be used by fire-fighting crews.

Councillor Escandell took the opportunity to remind Formentera residents that in 2017 the island has been under high-risk alert since Monday, May 1, a status which will remain in effect through October 15. During this time all fires are strictly prohibited within 500m of wooded areas in the Balearics, barring express permission from the Council. Escandell highlighted the instrumental role of islanders in preventing forest fires.

The current procedure concludes the second phase of an initiative started last year by Ibanat forest service employees.

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