Spain’s turnaround on Pyrenees gas pipeline project upsets Germany’s supply plans
The announcement by Spain, Portugal and France to pull the plug on the MidCat gas pipeline project across the Pyrenees comes as a “disappointment” for Germany’s government, which had hoped to unlock a new gas source with the pipeline envisioned to connect the Iberian Peninsula’s gas grid with the rest of Europe, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. Ahead of the ongoing EU summit in Brussels focused on the energy crisis, the Spanish, Portuguese and French government said they have given up on the Pyrenees pipeline and instead aim to build a “green energy corridor” through the Mediterranean Sea between Barcelona and Marseille that could also transport hydrogen as a more climate-friendly alternative to natural gas. Spain’s president Pedro Sanchez and German chancellor Olaf Scholz only recently endorsed the MidCat project, but French president Emmanuel Macron rejected the calls for the new gas link, arguing that construction would take too long and lead to stranded investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.
The pipeline project was initiated back in 2013 but was abandoned in 2019, when gas prices were low and the European Commission voiced doubts about its profitability. Earlier this week, Spanish gas company Enagas said the MidCat conncetion could be finished within one year of obtaining licenses, and thus was capable of quickly providing relief for the tense gas supply situation in Europe.