Faro’s long-delayed crematorium – ‘end of this year of beginning of next’
The bureaucratic merry-go-round over Faro Council’s plans to open a crematorium continues but may soon be over.
The plan and tendering process commenced four years ago in January but this deal was challenged in court, causing years of delay. The situation now is that the Council hesitantly is suggesting the crematorium will be opened by the end of 2019, due to another contract signed at the January Council meeting.
The mayor of Faro, Rogério Bacalhau, commented that he hoped that the project will be finalised, “by the end of the year or the beginning of next year,” after another document was signed at the January Council meeting.
Rogério Bacalhau said that in 2009, when he took over, there was already a project. The tender was held in 2010 and the contract was signed in 2012. In 2013 the company, Sociedade Funefaro Gestão de Crematórios Lda, asked for changes, saying that the investment was very large.”
This legal conflict with the company led to an impasse but in 2014, “we made an ultimatum. They either did the work, or we went to court. We ended up reaching an amicable settlement for the termination of the contract, with the company paying us compensation of €309,000.”
However, the issue was not resolved fully as a new concession was launched which was challenged in court which was resolved last November.
So, earlier this January, work again was authorised and the new company just has to deliver some documents and the deal can go ahead, allegedly.
The new crematorium will serve the Algarve, obviating the need for mourners to go to Ferreira do Alentejo, Beja to the current closest facility.
The Faro crematorium will cost around €500,000 paid for by the company which will pay the Council 1% of the cremation fees and ground rent of €1,700-a-month.
Stephen Nelson from IFP – Iberian Funeral Plans Lda, commented on Faro Council’s plans for the new crematorium, “This is excellent news for all Algarve residents and not before time it alleviates the need for an extended journey at a time of distress for the family and next of kin.”
Cremation prices already have been set for teh faro crematorium, already causing consternation as locals will be charged less than foreign resident, €258 as opposed to €309.
In May 2017, Albufeira Council launched a public tender for the design, construction and operation of a crematorium, having previously launched one in 2012 which came to nothing.
In March 2016, the council announced that there might, “soon be a crematorium available to handle some of the 5,000 deaths a year in the Algarve.” Its definition of ‘soon’ was, “sometime in 2017,” and so, good to its word, a new tender was been released in May 2017 but there has been no news since.
The demand is estimated at around 40 cremations a month from the Algarve and lower Alentejo. Families in Lisbon and Oporto have access to local crematoria for their deceased.
Loulé council once planned to build a crematorium, but the sponsoring company decided to pitch for the Faro concession in 2011.
Portimão council has always wanted a crematorium, but only after it has “built a new cemetery,” which it hasn’t.
Those who wish their loved ones to be cremated continue to make the journey north the crematorium near Beja.
In October 2018, Mike Thompson from Avalon Funeral Plans in the Algarve commented on the need for a local crematorium, “the current trip to the facility near Beja is just too much for many bereaved so a local crematorium would be a valued addition – the question has always been, “when?””