Over the last few weeks, the Spanish media have carried several stories relating to the supply of sand to Gibraltar.
As part of an initial beach regeneration project at Sandy Bay, HMGOG entered into a contract with Van Oord (Gibraltar) Ltd on the 19th April 2013 for the supply and placing on the beach of 10,000 tonnes of sand.
Van Oord (Gibraltar) Ltd was to supply sand from the area of Valdevaqueros in Tarifa where, as a result of high winds, sand from the dunes in the area had been blown on to adjacent roads, effectively cutting these off to the public. This sand was being removed by the authorities there and disposed of. At no time has HMGOG any knowledge of sand being removed from the beach.
Van Oord (Gibraltar) Ltd provided evidence of the necessary licences issued by the Ayuntamiento of Tarifa to their local supplier for excavation of this sand.
Supply of sand commenced on the 29th April 2013 and continued until the 6th June 2013 by which time a total of 2950.23 tonnes of sand had been supplied. During this time the rate of supply was intermittent until finally no sand was being delivered.
Van Oord (Gibraltar) Ltd informed HMGOG that they had been working hard to re-establish supply and improve delivery rates but that their local supplier had encountered numerous difficulties with the Spanish Authorities even though they had the necessary licences in place to excavate the sand blown on to the local roads.
Since the sand supplied by Van Oord (Gibraltar) Ltd fell well short of that required for the initial beach regeneration project, HMGOG opted to source sand from a different supplier and on the 10th June 2013 entered into a supply contract with GO Ingeniería y Obra Civil, S.L., a Spanish construction company, for the supply of 7000 tonnes of sand from a sand quarry located within the province of Cadiz, and not from any beach.
Supply of this sand commenced on the 12th June 2013 and the target quantity of 7000 tonnes of sand was met by the 1 st July 2013. Immediately news of the Spanish complaint was published in the media, members of the Technical Services Department and the Department of the Environment visited the site and confirmed it was coming legally from a sand quarry.
Press Release, July 16, 2013