The construction project of six macro fuel tanks in the port can be expensive for the Alicante City Council. The promoter of the project, XC Business 90, will demand some five million euros in compensation if it obtains the building license in court. This is provided that the resolution favorable to the contentious-administrative appeal is imminent. If it is extended even more in time with appeals before other judicial instances, the amount would increase by around four million per year. This is the main conclusion of a report requested by the promoter of the project, which formally requested the building license almost eight years ago, in 2013. These compensation could even be increased (although the figure is not closed, it could be around 20 million more per year ), since the delay in the first phase in turn generates delays in the other two phases. Even the hole for the City Council’s coffers could go further if another company promoted a similar project in the area. If this occurs, it would end the strategic position of the project in Alicante. Sources from the promoter point out that the closest similar initiatives are located in Valencia and Cartagena, so there is a key niche in the Alicante capital. Then, the promoter would consider requesting compensation of around 140 million.
The project, especially in recent years, has had the rejection of social entities, which ended up being added by the City Council en bloc in the run-up to the last municipal elections. All the parties were positioned against the initiative. However, the delay in granting (or rejecting) the license request goes back a long way. As stated in the external report, the process started in February 2013, when XC Business 90 submitted an application for an environmental license and urban planning license. Then, the government was led by Sonia Castedo. Four years later, in September 2017, with the tripartite at the head of the executive, the developer registered a letter reiterating the request for an environmental license and request for a certificate of administrative silence. Three months later, the company presented a document certifying the commitment to transfer the concessionary rights to reserve the land on pier 19 of the port for the installation of the initiative.
Just after the last appointment with the polls, already with the bipartisan at the controls, the promoter registered a new letter of reiteration of environmental license, urban planning license and certificate of effects of administrative silence. It did so after the Port Authority approved the modification of the concession to allow the construction of the macro-warehouses based on a favorable report from the State Attorney that certified that the petition was in accordance with the law. From there, the last word would already correspond to the City Council. Then six years had passed since the beginning of the process. The company counts this date to calculate the compensation that it will request in the case of obtaining the license in the courts. Two months later, in September 2019, the Department of Urban Planning issued a decree denying the estimate of positive silence, which meant continuing with the processing of the file.
Faced with this municipal response, the company decided to sue the Alicante City Council, considering “that the delay in the resolution of the file has prevented the start of construction and exploitation of the project”, arguing that this delay “would be causing financial damage.” Sources of the promoter regret that the bipartisan has turned a deaf ear to the repeated requests to hold a meeting between both parties. They assure that in that appointment they would have shown willingness to reach an agreement.
In March 2020, the Alicante City Council announced that it would request an environmental report from the Generalitat, which in practice meant leaving the future of macro-deposits in the hands of the Botànic. Nothing is known of that report to this day.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.