Another natural gas pipeline could soon become operational in Europe to connect Spain and France, and the new link could start operations in around nine months, according to Spain’s energy minister.
“This new interconnection, this gas pipeline could be operating in about 8 or 9 months on the southern border side, that is, from the Pyrenean to Spain,” Spanish Energy Minister Teresa Ribera told national TVE station in an interview on Friday, as carried by Reuters.
Europe is working to wean itself off Russian gas amid growing tensions with Moscow and uncertain pipeline supply from Russia, which was slashed this summer. Apart from importing record volumes of LNG from the United States, European countries look to build more infrastructure to accommodate more gas imports from sources other than Russia.
Spain itself does not depend on gas from Russia, but it has six LNG import terminals and lies on the route of pipelines from North Africa to Europe. Spain, however, is not well connected via pipelines to other European countries, limiting European access to LNG imports.
Earlier this week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the idea of a gas pipeline to connect Portugal, Spain, and central Europe via France and said he supported the new connection.
“I made the case that we should really tackle such a project,” Scholz said, as quoted by the Financial Times, referring to talks he had held with the leaders of France, Spain, and Portugal, as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Since the war in Ukraine, companies have also been studying plans for possible offshore pipeline connections from Spain to Italy.
In May, energy infrastructure operator Snam of Italy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Spanish energy and transmission system operator Enagas for a feasibility study on an offshore pipeline between Spain and Italy. Snam and Enagas will jointly mandate a technical feasibility study aimed at the potential construction of an offshore pipeline connecting Spain with Italy, “which would be beneficial to further diversify energy supply towards our country as well as Europe,” the Italian company said.