The ageing power station at Sant Joan de Deu in Palma, which has been the centre of protests by local residents over pollution for the past few years, is to be finally mothballed. The announcement was made yesterday by the Balearic Minister for Energy and Innovation, Misericordia Ramón, following a meeting with the gas and electricity company GESA. The Minister said that the five power generators at the station will be dismantled before October 2002 and she added that the local community have been demanding its closure for some time and that in fact parliament has already called for the plug to be pulled on the power station. The power station has sparked a number of power failures over the years and the last two of the power generators were installed in 1972. The agreement to gradually wind down operations at the plant will see GESA closing three of the electricity generators before the end of the year with the remaining two staying in operation until the end of 2002. GESA would have shut the plant down simultaneously, but the power company wants to keep two of the generators in operation over the next two summer seasons in order to guarantee enough electricity to meet demand. The Minster admitted that “it was not easy to get GESA to accept the closure idea” and she explained that closing the plant will cost the company a great deal of money. The Minister explained that while the five electricity generators will be dismantled, the plant will not be closed completely.

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