With a lack of fondness, Alcudia veterans will recall the days when coal trucks used to rumble along the main Carretera Arta. Those were the days before the bypass that runs behind Bellevue and in front of the Puig de Sant Martí.
Now, with the exception of possible rare sightings in the future, the trucks are no more, and that is because the coal is no more. Not a single lump of coal has been unloaded at the port so far this year, and the Balearic Ports Authority is not expecting one between now and the end of the year.
The reason, obviously enough, is the phasing-out of the Es Murterar power station, where the annual number of hours of production has been reduced to 500 - equivalent to twenty days a year.
In 2018, over a million tonnes of coal were handled at the port. This went down to 718,378 tonnes in 2019 and to 95,170 in 2020. Stocks, one presumes, are sufficient for production this year. In the future, there is likely to be some importing of coal but only minimal amounts. Es Murterar is due to stop all coal-fired production by 2026.
The trucks, it’s fair to say, won’t be missed. No coal dust will be blown about, and there will no longer be what had become the morning breakfast gathering of trucks on Avenida Tucan. Up to ten of them at a time.
But then, there is the question as to what has happened to the drivers and their work, as there also is regarding workers at the port. The phasing-out of Es Murterar is meant to coincide with retraining and new jobs at solar parks, but has this extended to associated workers?