AS CRISIS BITES, SPAIN PUSHES TO BECOME EU ENERGY HUB

With Europe facing a major energy crisis, Spain wants to become the new gateway for gas through an ambitious trans-Pyrenees pipeline and is hoping supply-starved Germany will pressure a reluctant France.

Madrid has long been hoping for the revival of plans to build a pipeline connecting the Iberian Peninsula via France to central Europe, which was abandoned in 2019 over regulatory and funding issues.

But Russia’s war on Ukraine and its reduction of gas deliveries to Europe has revived interest in the project, notably from Germany, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying such a pipeline could make “a massive contribution” to easing the supply crisis.

He has invited Spain’s Pedro Sanchez for talks on Tuesday with energy likely to be a key issue. Beyond the gas crisis, Spain is hoping that improving its connectivity with the rest of Europe will open the way for it to become the European Union’s new hub for green hydrogen — a key energy source of the future.

Madrid has long been hoping for the revival of plans to build a pipeline connecting the Iberian Peninsula via France to central Europe, which was abandoned in 2019 over regulatory and funding issues. But Russia’s war on Ukraine and its reduction of gas deliveries to Europe has revived interest in the project, notably from Germany, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying such a pipeline could make a massive contribution to easing the supply crisis.

He has invited Spain’s Pedro Sanchez for talks on Tuesday with energy likely to be a key issue.

Beyond the gas crisis, Spain is hoping that improving its connectivity with the rest of Europe will open the way for it to become the European Union’s new hub for green hydrogen — a key energy source of the future.

In 2013, work began on the so-called MidCat project, a pipeline linking Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia to the south of France through the Pyrenees, aimed at connecting Spain and Portugal to central Europe’s gas network.

Six years later it was dropped by regulators in France and Spain over its environmental impact and lack of economic viability. And despite the current energy crisis, France has been decidedly unenthusiastic about reviving the project.

But that has done little to cool the ardour of the Spanish premier, who is determined it will go ahead — even if it means resorting to “plan B”: building an underwater connection to Italy, he said in Bogota last week.

Read more at:      https://guardian.ng/news/as-crisis-bites-spain-pushes-to-become-eu-energy-hub/

 

 

 

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