A video showing the removal of the last oil tank from Larnaca’s seafront was posted online Tuesday, revealing an unobstructed view of the ancient town’s blue waters after years of local and national efforts.
The Cyprus News Agency published a video on Tuesday showing the demolition of huge oil tanks owned by Hellenic Petroleum, including the last one that was removed on April 22.
A total of 22 installations owned by the Hellenic Petroleum Group have been transferred to new state-of-the-art facilities in Vasiliko, where the company invested more than €30 million in technology and safety systems.
Hellenic Petroleum Cyprus CEO Giorgos Grigoras said the company took strict measures to ensure safety for staff and residents as well as the environment during the demolition.
“We have rapidly completed the dismantling of liquid fuel distribution facilities from the coastal front of Larnaca,” Grigoras declared, adding that the company “creates a clear horizon for the economic, environmental and tourist upgrade of the city.”
Larnaca had been fighting to have various oil tank eyesores removed from coastal areas, with delays getting in the way causing political, administrative, and business headaches for the city.
The controversial oil refineries became part of the landscape in the southern town, a symbol of industry on one hand and a monstrosity interfering with nature on the other.
Discussions for clearing the coast of oil tanks had been ongoing since 2001 in an effort to get the oil refineries out of the picture.
In 2018, President Nicos Anastasiades did the honors by helping cut the first piece of an oil refinery using a welding torch.
Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras said at the time that this was the first time that such serious work had be done on the issue, which has been a thorny and complicated topic for years, famously adding he wanted the companies “gone yesterday."
Hellenic said the removal of its storage tanks took place in less than a month following a commitment the Group had made to the city as part of installation transfer to Vasiliko.
Final work is expected to be completed in the summer, Hellenic said, adding that all projects were being carried out according to safety and environmental guidelines.