Details of the fuel terminal project

Posted on 28/02/2012

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The damages caused by building and operating the fuel terminal are irreversible!
The Karpaz-Peninsula in North Cyprus is still an untouched nature reserve of which large areas are protected zones and part of the European Natura 2000-Network.

The chosen area for the fuel terminal shall include 150 donum of land in a completely undeveloped coastal strip in the region of Yedikonuk/Eptakomi. The following shall be built:

  •  17 petrol tanks 15.2-metre high each containing 35,000m3 of petrol
  •   10 diesel tanks 17-metre high each holding 50,000m3 of diesel
  •   3 gas tanks 5-metre high containing 3,500m3 of gas each
  •   6 tar tanks 7-metre high with 5,000m3 of tar.
  •    A harbour for fuel tankers

 

The company Rixoh proposed the project to the Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA), saying the site in Karpaz will satisfy the concerns previously raised by the commission. The commission had refused the project for the Lefke region in August 2011, stating it was too close to residential areas, the main road and a hospital.

It is an open-sea trading of Petrol and the site will have free port status, meaning that the local authorities will have no control over activities. We feel poisonous dumping, illegal trading and lack of responsibility in case of accidents will make this a time bomb.
It has nothing to do with the current explorations going on by the Republic of Cyprus for gas in the Med. The petroleum products, including tar and diesel, will come from other countries.
Large tankers shall deliver the fuel, which will then be transported with smaller tankers to importing countries.
The destruction of the landscape by this project will cause serious damage to the biodiversity of the Karpaz-Peninsula as well as the efforts of the inhabitants to establish an environmentally friendly tourism, which is the only mean of income here besides agriculture.
The danger of environmental pollution through oil spills during the loading and unloading of the tankers is immense. It would not only affect the terminal’s immediate environment but also affect an unimaginable area by spreading in the sea.
In the Karpaz region rare and endangered species are affected by this contamination:

  • The endemic birds Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus wheatear are species mentioned in Annex I of the EU- Conservation of Wild Birds Directive. These birds are subject to special protection measurements.
  • Many endangered harriers (birds of prey), hundreds of honey buzzards and water birds use this area as  resting sites on their migratory way over Cyprus.
  • The area is a nesting site for peregrine falcons and alpine swifts.
  • Mediterranean shags (belonging to the family of cormorants) nest in the area as well as the endangered  audouins gulls (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).
  • Breeding sites of the Mediterranean monk seal are in dangerously close proximity. This endangered seal  species with a current population of about 350-450 individuals belongs to one of the rarest mammals in  Europe.
  • In close proximity are also the third- and fifth most important nesting sites of the Green sea turtle, which itself  is regarded as critically endangered.

The development of this site in Karpaz means the annihilation of an untouched pristine Mediterranean coastal biotope, a habitat which has already disappeared elsewhere. Not only the site itself threatens nature, but also the emerging infrastructure will pave the way for further development of the region.

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