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Thousands march in Tarragona to demand closure of gas-storage plant

Between 3,000 and 6,000 protesters filled the streets of Les Cases d’Alcanar

Thousands of people marched on Sunday to demand the “definitive shutdown” of the Castor offshore gas-storage facility, which is suspected of causing more than 400 earth tremors along the northern coast of the Mediterranean in recent weeks.

Between 3,000 and 6,000 protesters, depending on the sources, filled the streets of Les Cases d’Alcanar (Tarragona) under the slogan: “We don’t want it.”

“The anguish we are suffering in this territory and the great danger we are running demands urgent action from authorities,” said the spokespersons for the Platform in Defense of the Lands of the Sénia, which organized the march. “Not another minute should be lost declaring that the business deals of a few cannot endanger the welfare of all.”

The activist group described the Castor gas-storage project as a “fast deal that has bypassed European and national directives from the beginning.”

On Thursday, the Industry Ministry and the Valencia regional government announced that work on Castor would be halted indefinitely until it determined the cause of the earthquakes affecting towns around the mouth of the Ebro river.

Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister José Manuel Soria announced on Thursday that there “appears to be” a “direct relation” between the injection of gas into the Castor plant and the tremors. But the minister added that there was still no “scientific evidence” to prove it.

The giant plant works by injecting gas for storage into a depleted oilfield located 1,800 meters below sea level.