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Heavy equipment arrived on the site of the plant last year. Heavy equipment arrived on the site of the plant last year.

Company behind Sinaloa fertilizer plant seeks dialogue

Mexican subsidiary of European firm rejects claims of environmental damage

The company behind the construction of a US $5-billion fertilizer plant that was suspended by a federal judge this week says it has complied with all requirements established by authorities.

Gas y Petroquímica de Occidente (GPO) said in a statement that its “priority is to comply transparently” with all its obligations and commitments and that “all the specifications for the construction of our complex in Topolobampo, Sinaloa, have been submitted in a timely manner.”

The company charged that “from the beginning, our project has been built in accordance with the law,” adding that it will be “attentive to requests from federal, state and municipal authorities in order to continue with the development of the plant.”

The plant, which in its first stage of operations was expected to produce 770,000 tonnes of ammonia and 700,000 tonnes of urea per year for state and national markets, is an “important project not just for Sinaloa but for all of Mexico,” GPO said.

José Francisco Pérez Mier, chief judge at a federal court in Los Mochis, ordered Tuesday that construction of the fertilizer plant must stop due to environmental concerns.

The definitive suspension order he issued was sought by representatives of the El Muellecito ejido (community land), who argued that the 202-hectare plant would cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem of the Santa María, Topolobampo and Ohuira lagoons.

In his ruling, the judge raised concerns about the impact on wildlife that the plant would have.

But GPO, a subsidiary of Swiss-German engineering, procurement and construction group Proman AG, rejected claims that the plant’s operation would damage the environment.

“With regard to the safety of the project, we assert that at GPO we work with the highest quality standards and state-of-the-art technology . . . In addition, we have various social and environmental programs to promote sustainable development in the area that will allow current environmental conditions to not just be preserved but even improve.

“At GPO, we understand that there are anxieties about a project of this magnitude and consequently we reiterate our policy of dialogue to inform and communicate the community about the development of the plant.”

Mexico News Daily 

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