Deemed one of the country’s biggest industrial polluters, state-owned mining company Larco has been granted a third extension on a deadline for conforming to environmental protection laws, putting yet another spanner in the works of government plans to put the company up for sale.
Located in the area of Messapia, north of Halkida on Evia, Larco was last week given until February 23 to construct a site for dumping rust refuse from its metallurgical plant on land rather than in the Gulf of Evia, where it is currently still licensed to offload waste.
The firm had until Wednesday to construct a landfill at a location that has already been selected by authorities, though on Friday Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Deputy Environment Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou agreed to grant it a six-month extension in the hope that it will comply with regulations, easing the way for its eventual privatization.
Though frequently fined for violating environmental laws, Larco’s contribution to the local economy – it employs over 1,000 people – has largely protected it from closure. The company is also one of the biggest ferronickel producers in the world.