19 Oct 2022, 13:07
Benjamin Wehrmann

Pyrenees pipeline wanted by Spain and Germany could be finished within a year – Enagas CEO

dpa / Focus Online

A new pipeline connecting Spain with France and the northern European grid could be finished within a year, the head of Spanish gas grid operator Enagas, Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri, told news agency dpa in an article carried by Focus Online. “From a purely technical perspective, building this kind of infrastructure takes about one year once all licenses have been obtained,” Aizpiri said. The MidCat pipeline that could transfer re-gassified liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Spanish ports through the Pyrenees could also be used to deliver hydrogen produced in Spain and outside of Europe by 2030, the Enagas CEO said, adding that the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines between Russia and Germany has added urgency to the project.

Completing the Pyrenees pipeline project, which had been abandoned in 2017 due to unclear profitability, is a stated aim of both Germany and Spain, but the French government has so far treated the MidCat pipeline with far less enthusiasm, arguing that construction would take too long to make the project an asset in the current European energy crisis. French president Emmanuel Macron estimated the construction time to be five to eight years. Ahead of an EU summit this week, the government leaders from Spain and Portugal, Pedro Sanchez and Antonio Costa, will meet with Macron to push for the project, Aizpiri added.

The partly finished MidCat pipeline would connect Barcelona in Spain with Barbaira in France. Apart from connecting the Iberian peninsula’s large LNG import capacity with the rest of Europe, it would also allow direct gas flows from Algeria to France and beyond.  German chancellor Olaf Scholz has recently endorsed the project during a visit to Spain, arguing that the pipeline would make “a massive contribution” towards easing Europe’s energy supply situation.

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