"There was a huge need for a crematorium oven in the Algarve, because it is the only region in the country that did not have a structure of this type yet," Cremal managing partner Paula Ganhão told Lusa.

Paula Ganhão informed that the structure started the tests to start operating on 13 January and went to the “operational phase on 19 March”, having already performed “about 20 services”, each with a cost of 280 Euros.

"The need for a crematorium in the region led funeral homes to monitor the construction process, looking to know when they would be available to provide the service," she said, adding that there must also be a market in the Lower Alentejo.

In the building, built next to the Vale Pedras cemetery, in Albufeira, two cremation ovens were installed with a capacity for “10 to 12 daily cremations, integrating inside an ecumenical chapel and a farewell room”, she revealed.

In the outer space, gardens were installed where the ashes that may not be requested can be deposited, with a buried and watertight deposit 50cm in diameter, explained the responsible.

Paula Ganhão informed that the Portuguese legislation allows family members or friends to "take the ashes with them", to store or deposit them wherever they want, including "to throw into the sea".

Construction of the crematorium began in April 2019, after the work was awarded by the Albufeira City Council in November 2017.

The value of the investment exceeded the 600 thousand Euros initially foreseen, fully supported by the company Cremal, which will explore the service during the next 30 years.

Due to the state of emergency enacted in Portugal, there will be no face-to-face assistance, only directly with funeral agencies, always safeguarding all protection measures, both for their employees and for those who have contact with them.

Cremal is a company made up only of Algarve capital, with six partners, formed with the objective of competing for tenders for the construction of crematoriums in Faro and Albufeira.

In the case of the Faro crematorium, and after an eight-year stalemate, the municipality signed a contract for the concession and operation of the new structure last June, with another company, and it is expected to start operating in September.