France’s President Rejects France-Spain MidCat Gas Pipeline Project

(Reuters) — French President Emmanuel Macron said he was opposed to the France-Spain MidCat gas pipeline project, arguing that capacity on two existing cross-Pyrenees gas pipelines was underutilized and that gas flows were going mainly in the direction of Spain.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last month pushed for the construction of a pipeline from Portugal through Spain and France to central Europe to wean Europe from Russian energy dependence, saying he had lobbied strongly for setting up such a project.

Macron said that in recent weeks the existing Spain-France pipelines had been operating at only about half capacity and that the flow had been mainly in the direction of Spain.

"I do not understand what short-term problem this would solve," Macron said during a news conference following a video conference with Scholz about energy problems in Europe.

"I do not understand why we would jump around like Pyrenees goats on this topic," he said, paraphrasing a famous expression by former president Charles De Gaulle.

Macron said he was not convinced of the need for more gas interconnections but added that if Scholz or Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez could show him that the opposite was true, he was willing to review his position.

Spain and Portugal have huge gas import capacities through their LNG terminals and Scholz sees these as a way to boost gas pipeline interconnections in Europe.

France has long been opposed to a new cross-Pyrenees pipeline and prefers the installation of new LNG terminals.

Launched in 2013, the MidCat project would connect to Spain's gas pipeline north of Barcelona and could notably boost import of Algerian gas to northern Europe. The project was suspended in 2019 for cost and environmental reasons.

Related News


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}