“It’s hard to explain how we went so long without it”: Faro Mayor inaugurates new crematorium

Faro’s new crematorium was finally inaugurated yesterday (September 23) following over a decade of delays which had started to cast doubts on whether the project would ever come to fruition.

The crematorium involved a €1.1 million investment covered in full by funeral agency Servilusa, which will run it for the next 30 years.

Coming six months after the opening of the Algarve’s first crematorium (in Albufeira), the crematorium in Faro is expected to make the process of choosing cremation over burial easier for citizens in the Algarve.

It is located at the town’s newest cemetery in Penha and is equipped with a vestibule, toilets, a room where bodies will be prepared for cremation, a farewell room where people will be able to say goodbye to their loved ones, two storage rooms, a cremation furnace and a “pyrolysis furnace” to burn waste associated with burials in cemeteries.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau admitted that it is not easy to provide an explanation for the bureaucratic hurdles that the project faced since it was first revealed.

“The population had been asking for a crematorium for a long time and it is hard to explain how we went so long without it,” Bacalhau admitted.

The good news is that it is finally up and running, and Bacalhau believes it will provide a much-needed service to the people of Faro and the Eastern Algarve, as well as “the many foreign residents who had been hoping for this service to become available in the region”.

Servilusa also highlighted that cremation is the preferred option among foreign residents, who can choose to take the ashes of their loved ones back with them to their home country.

The funeral agency also stressed that the crematorium, which is expected to carry out around 600 cremations during its first year, is located strategically near the Faro hospital and airport.

Each cremation costs €309, but Faro residents pay €258.

Faro Council will receive €1,700 per month as part of the concession contract as well as 1% of the cost of each cremation.

The Algarve now has two crematoriums, with a third possibly on the way. In July, Portimão Council announced that it had added a crematorium to the plan to build a new municipal cemetery in Sítio do Malheiro on the outskirts of the town.

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