Spain says gas pipeline to France could be operational within 8-9 months

If France and other European countries agree on the project, a potential gas connection between France and Spain could be operational in less than one year.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union is trying to get off Russian natural gas. This has brought new interconnection projects into focus. Thursday’s speech by Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor, pushed for the construction of a pipeline linking Portugal through Spain and France to central Europe.

Ribera stated that the new interconnection, the gas pipeline, could be operational in eight to nine months on the south side of the border. This is from the Pyrenees and Spain.

To connect France and Spain, another section of the pipeline would be required to run from the Spanish grid to the French.

Scholz stated that a pipeline linking the Iberian peninsula and central Europe would “massively alleviate the supply situation now”, adding that leaders from Spain, Portugal, France and the European Commission had already spoken about it.

Antonio Costa, Portugal’s Prime Minister, stated that Scholz’s statement “reinforces pressure on the European Institutions to unblock this condition once and for all”. He suggested that an alternative to the French link would be a sea-based pipe from Spain to Italy.

Portugal and Spain have been pushing for a new pipeline since they are able to receive shipments of liquefied natural gases that could be shipped to Europe.

Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, stated that interconnections must be paid for by the European Union.

Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri, CEO of Enagas, a Spanish gas grid operator, recently stated that the complete pipeline project between France-Spain, which was abandoned by regulators in 2019, could be completed for 600 million to 700 million euros in two years.

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