Spain: Inauguration of largest cold room in Europe

The largest cold room in Europe, built in the industrial park of Las Salinas de Alhama, in Murcia, was inaugurated on Monday. The president of the autonomous region, Fernando López Miras, chaired the event. The facilities will be used for the handling and storage of vegetables of the company Fruveco. The facilities have an area of 13,000 square metres located in a 108,000 square metre plot. It can maintain temperatures inside ranging from 11 to 30 degrees below zero.

The president of the company, Francisco Ramón, accompanied the head of the regional government, thanking him for his help in the execution of the project, carried out mostly through the Institute for Development (Info), as well as the City of Alhama de Murcia, represented by the mayor, Diego Conesa, and the company Industrialhama. After the official opening, there was a visit to the facilities, so the attendees had to wear special suits against the cold.

Fruveco manager Francisco Emilio Ramón (son of the president) stressed that the building’s inauguration will very soon be followed by new expansions. "Our goal is to multiply the production and freezing of vegetables by four, reaching up to 800,000 tonnes per year," he said.

Until now, the company only had facilities in the municipality of El Raal, in Murcia, but according to the manager, future activities will be mostly carried out in the industrial park Las Salinas de Alhama, which entails that the total investment estimated, once the project is completed, will reach 90 million Euro, since the plan is to build three more cold rooms. Up to now, the investment made amounts to 20 million Euro.

At present, some 200 people work in Fruveco, and the target for the coming years is to generate another 200 jobs.

López Miras thanked the president of this business group, leader of the agri-food sector in the handling, processing and storage of vegetable raw materials, "for investing in the Region," while he recalled that "the Region is creating a new job every twenty minutes, so the regional employment creation rate reaches 3.4%, which is the highest in the country, and this has been possible thanks to companies like Fruveco," he said.

The regional president also recalled that they are working on a new Law on Administrative Simplification and on the creation of the Regional Agency for the Environment in order to facilitate the companies' relations with the Administration. Lastly, he assured that "we will continue fighting to ensure the supply of what is, in practical terms, the engine of companies like Fruveco: water. In the end, we will have the water that we deserve."

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