To contain the energy crisis, Germany and Spain are jointly pushing for a gas pipeline to be built across the Pyrenees. In a joint action plan adopted on Wednesday during German-Spanish government consultations in La Coruña, the two countries are committed to installing the pipeline – called Midcat – between Spain and France by 2025. Later, hydrogen produced using renewable energies is also to be transported through this pipeline. France has so far opposed the construction.
At a press conference, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez jointly advocated the realisation of the Pyrenees pipeline. “I am explicitly in favour of establishing this link,” Scholz said, especially with regard to the possibility of transporting hydrogen. Referring to liquefied natural gas terminals in Spain, which are cut off from the rest of Europe due to the lack of a pipeline, Sanchez said that it was “a big contradiction that Spain and Portugal are an energy island”.
The Midcat pipeline advocated by Scholz and Sanchez is to run from Barcelona across the Pyrenees to connect with the French grid in Barbaira in southern France. In Spain, the pipeline has been completed as far as Hostalric, which is 106 kilometres south of the border; in France, about 120 kilometres are missing. The project had been cancelled in 2017 because it was not economically viable. Spain and Portugal could obtain the natural gas that is to flow north through the pipeline from different sources, as the two countries combined have a total of seven liquefied natural gas terminals. There are also two pipelines to the gas supplier Algeria in North Africa.