July 19, 2024 | 11:11

Bizkaia

Profersa requests reopening after complying with security measures

Jesus Carames

June 7, 2024 | 7:13 a.m.

The fertilizer production company Profersa, located in the Bilbao neighborhood of Zorroza, has delivered to the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government the documentation required to request the reopening of its plant. This step is crucial to resume its production after the precautionary stoppage of its activities due to recent chemical incidents..

Incidents that led to temporary closure

On May 1, a chemical reaction in Profersa generated a cloud of smoke that forced the local population to close doors and windows and remain in their homes. This incident, along with another similar one that occurred on April 26, led the Basque Government to order the precautionary stoppage of Profersa's activity on May 15.. The measure would remain in place until the company implemented the "necessary measures" to avoid the repetition of such episodes.

Compliance with required measures

The Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment granted Profersa a period of 15 days to carry out the necessary technical corrections. According to sources from the department directed by Arantxa Tapia, Profersa has delivered all the documentation required to resume production.. In the coming days, an inspection will be carried out to verify that all the imposed measures have been correctly implemented. If it is certified that the measures have been applied appropriately, Profersa will be authorized to officially request its reopening.

The Basque Government has assured that mobile air quality equipment will be installed and operated on both banks. Technicians are already on site installing these meters to ensure the safety of the environment.

Neighborhood protests and transfer demands

Meanwhile, residents of several affected neighborhoods, such as Burtzeña, Erandio, Zorrotza, Elorrieta, San Ignacio, Olabeaga, Ibarrekolanda, Zorrotzaurre, Basurto, Deusto and Altamira, have demonstrated to request the transfer of the Sader and Profersa plants. The protesters demand that these companies, belonging to the Agaleus group, relocate to safer areas and away from populated areas..

In addition, they have demanded greater control of air quality and the traffic of heavy trucks transporting hazardous materials. They have also requested that the rights of workers be respected and guaranteed, ensuring that those committed and experienced are considered in the future plans of the Agaleus group..

The search for a balance between security and production

The Profersa incident highlights the need for a balance between industrial production and environmental and public safety. While the company meets technical requirements to ensure safety, local residents remain concerned about their health and well-being.

The Basque Government and the companies involved must work together to ensure that industrial operations do not put the community at risk. Installing air quality monitoring equipment and implementing strict safety measures are steps in the right direction.

The situation in Zorroza is a clear reminder of the importance of constant vigilance and corporate responsibility in the industry, especially in sensitive sectors such as fertilizer production. A commitment to safety and transparency will be critical to rebuilding community trust and ensuring a sustainable future for all..

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