Gas: Spain criticizes France’s opposition to Midcat gas pipeline project

Gas: Spain criticizes France's opposition to Midcat gas pipeline project

Amid energy tensions linked to the conflict in Ukraine, Spain’s Energy and Environment Minister Teresa Ribera on Tuesday criticized France’s reservations about reviving the Midcat gas pipeline project (Midi-Catalonia).

Faced with shortfalls in Russian gas supplies and planned repairs to Nord Stream, Europeans are scrambling to find alternatives.

Spain and Portugal have significant potentialImport of gas And German Chancellor Olaf Scholz again proposed the Midcat option to improve Europe’s gas network interconnection in August.

France opposes this, particularly citing the cost of the project and favoring the establishment of new LNG terminals.

Launched in 2013, the gas pipeline project through the Pyrenees was to connect Barbeira, a city north of Barcelona, ​​with the aim of supplying Algerian gas in particular.

It was considered too expensive and harmful to the environment and was suspended in 2019.

“We have to prepare for next winter, in this case, to be able to complete a correlation that does not make economic sense (in 2019)… But this supply may be critical now. Northern Europe,” Teresa Ribera told local radio.

“The question is: ‘Is it in the interest of France or in the interest of Central and Northern Europe?’,” she said, believing the gas pipeline would be operational in 2023.

Olaf Scholz and the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, on Tuesday called for the construction of a new gas pipeline from the Iberian Peninsula, although without criticizing Paris.

France believes that building new LNG terminals in Northern and Eastern Europe, especially in Germany, would be a faster and cheaper alternative to building a new gas pipeline.

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However, Bruno Le Maire does not rule out such a possibility. “Spain and Germany are two very close partners of France. So when they make a proposal, we will examine it,” he told reporters on Tuesday, at a meeting of entrepreneurs in France (LaREF, formerly the University of. Medef).

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