Midcat gas pipeline: Spain calls for support and solidarity from France

Midcat gas pipeline: Spain calls for support and solidarity from France

Spain’s Minister for Green Transition, Teresa Ribera, called on Tuesday (6 September) for France‘s support and solidarity with the Iberian country and other EU partners. She also urged Paris to reconsider its recent rejection of the MidCat gas pipeline project.

France should think about how it can help others”underlined Ms. Ribera in a maintenance broadcast on Tuesday (September 6) by private radio Onda Cero.

The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, assured on Monday (September 5) that he there is no need for a new gas connection line with Spain, because the existing ones are far from having reached their capacity limits. In fact, the MidCat pipeline project is not justified for energy and environmental reasons.

According to official figures in Paris, the MidCat project would cost more than 3 billion euros and its implementation would take years. It would not be a solution to the current energy crisis and no longer fits in with European efforts to phase out fossil fuels in the medium term.

France gets a large amount of electricity from five of its neighboring countries, including Spain, to cope with the difficulties it is facing due to the shutdown of several of its nuclear reactors since January, Ms Ribera reminded.

M Macron should take into account that the problems with Russian gas will most likely continue until next winter, the socialist minister added.

EU energy ministers meet in Brussels on Friday (9 September) to discuss the bloc’s roadmap and steps to ease the current energy crisis.

The debate about the MidCat project “cannot be limited to bilateral relations (France-Spain)”said Mrs. Ribera.

France has always had a problem with the MidCat project “because its internal gas system is fragmented and it would take great effort to solve it”‘ said the minister.

However, on a positive note, in his speech on Monday (September 5) – which Ms Ribera saw as being aligned with French public opinion – Mr Macron is Mr Macron “underlined his willingness to plan solutions at European level and to work together with Spain and Germany”.

At the same time current statistics from CORE (a non-profit public company sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition) announced that Spanish natural gas imports from Russia increased by 32.9% last June, reaching 8,751 gigawatt hours (GWh), the highest monthly Status since 2004.

Demand for natural gas for electricity generation in Spain increased by 126% in July compared to the same month of 2021, according to figures from local grid operator Enagás.

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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