The Carboneras power station, run by Endesa, is filthy. It releases a large amount of smog into the atmosphere - smog, which can easily be seen through Polaroids, hanging dismally over the sea most afternoons, or, if you happen to be in a yacht, then the purple cloud can be seen floating over the land. Bédar, which for some reason has a detector that measures atmospheric contamination, has been publishing unacceptably high limits of poisonous gases including sulphur dioxide - responsible in the province, say Greenpeace, for up to 110 premature deaths a year for respiratory problems.
This week, Endesa, which is owned by the Italian energy giant Enel - has announced that it is investing 250 million euros in the power station to clean its output, 'demonstrating the company's commitment to the province of Almería'. In fact, because of new European rules.
The changes will reduce sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 60% and nitrous oxide (CO2) by 80% say the company, beside creating 500 new jobs.
The power station's output is gigantic, especially when the surrounding consumer population is so small. This is because the electricity is added to the national grid.
Work on the power station will be completed by the summer of 2018.
Updated contamination levels across Andalucía can be found here. Bédar levels for May 4th are SO2 - good; NO2 - good; particles - good; 03 - acceptable; air quality - improving.