Flix hits rock bottom and looks for a future outside of chemistry

Technology News

With the decontamination of the Ebro river finally finished, the municipality wants to get out of the depression.
There are two sectors that should especially benefit from the new decontaminated scenario. The tourist, with businesses that have been taking advantage of the pull of navigation on the Ebro for some years, and the Sebes nature reserve, especially with canoes. The other, the food industry, with high quality products such as oil.

A clean and safe environment, and with an industrial tradition, should also be a claim to attract new industries, in an enclave located a few kilometers from the Ascó nuclear power plant (Ribera d’Ebre), with guaranteed water and electricity. Renewable energies and the circular economy are two of the markets in which Flix wants to fish.

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Deindustrialization and lack of opportunities cause the exodus of well-educated young people

The Consistory has been working for seven years, together with the Generalitat, to attract new industrial investments capable of compensating, at least in part, the departure of Ercros, at the origin of the pollution, which now only employs 90 people, but which arrived to employ 1,500 residents. The harsh reality is that so far the results have been meager.

“The European reactivation plans can be a scenario of opportunity for Flix and the Ribera d’Ebre; we will be attentive to any project that may fit into an area that needs to turn the page, but also a new industrial impulse ”, highlights Jordi Just, president of the Reus Chamber of Commerce, who also represents the interests of this region. “You have to fix the population in the territory and reverse depopulation,” he adds.

One of the open debates in Flix, and throughout the region, is about the coexistence between industry, energy, tourism and the agri-food sector. Part of the population is concerned about the long shadow of investments with strong environmental impact, such as the controversial industrial waste deposit opened at the beginning of the year in neighboring Riba-roja d’Ebre.

Pilar Ortega, 42, second generation of a family business of transportation and public works, from Flix, advocates reindustrialization, which she sees as “compatible” with the development of tourism and agri-food. “Industrial culture is part of our DNA, but we have felt alone, without the help of the administrations; there is a great infrastructure deficit ”, highlights Ortega.

In an inland municipality, away from the big cities, the railway network is terrible, from the last century, and the roads are insufficient. To which must be added mobile and internet coverage problems, in the process of being solved (fiber).

“We have to work together to value decontamination, the Flix environmental meter is at zero; it was one of the main obstacles to any economic recovery project, a slab, “admits the mayor. For years, the uncertainty of not being able to set a date for the end of the cleaning works has been penalized, with the winning company even ending the decontamination when it was not.

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