A power crisis is brewing in the Balearics over controversial plans to pipe natural gas from the mainland which has already divided the local government and the central administration and now the engineers and the power company are wading into the debate. The Balearic government has hit back at the central administration for snubbing their plans to build the pipeline. The Gas and Electricity Board (GESA) has also hit back saying that the islands desperately need natural gas to solve the island's pressing energy needs. GESA has warned that with demand for power continuing to rise, despite energy saving campaigns, the islands will soon be facing a major shortfall unless a decision is taken on the gas pipeline. Yesterday, the Balearic Association of Industrial Engineers said that the central administration had not dismissed the idea of the gas pipeline and called on the Balearic government not to make a political issue out of something which was so important for the Balearics. The engineers also slammed the local government for not doing their homework. “The local ministry for Energy says that the gas link is vital but what they have failed to say is where the necessary power plants will be built to harbour and burn the gas,” the Association of Engineers said in a statement released yesterday. The engineers believe that piping electricity from the mainland is also an option which the Balearics should contemplate. “The power stations which will have to be built to receive and channel out the gas will also have an important environmental affect especially as one will have to be built on each island,” the engineers said. The power issue has been skirted by the local authorities for many years and the debate is still ongoing. The Gas and Electricity Board were initially planning to build a new power station on the outskirts of Llucmajor but this project was quietly shelved while the authorities turn their attention to bringing in electricty from the mainland. Already the gas pipeline has stirred a heated debate but the Gas and Electricity Board is rightly concerned how they are going to keep up with demand without the necessary facilities. “We want action right away. This has become a very pressing issue,” said GESA. The Balearic government is seeking urgent talks with the central administration to discuss the power crisis and the plans for the future.

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