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An agreement was reached on Thursday between France, Spain and Portugal to replace the MidCat gas pipeline project with a 190 km submarine pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille.

C’est une avancecie pour un projet d’infrastructure bloqué depuis de nombreuses années. France, Spain, and Portugal announced on Thursday, October 20 that they had reached an agreement to replace the MidCat project with a submarine pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille, intended to transport green hydrogen gas.

Launched initially in 2003, the MidCat project (abbreviation of Midi-Catalonia) aimed to link the French and Spanish gas networks via a 190-kilometer pipeline allant d’Hostalric, au north de Barcelona, ​​à Barbaira, à l’est de Carcassonne, en passant par les Pyrénées.

“We nous sommes entendus pour remplacer le projet MidCat par un nouveau projet, qui s’appellera le Corridor d’énergie verte, pour lier la péninsule ibérique à la France et donc au marché européen de l’énergie entre Barcelona et Marseille”, and explained the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, upon his arrival in Brussels for a European summit dedicated to the energy crisis.

L’hydrogen vert avant tout

“Il s’agit de créer un pipeline pour l’hydrogen vert mais aussi de façon transitoire pour le gaz, dont le marché européen de l’énergie a besoin”, at-il pécisé.

Complete the deal, Pedro Sánchez, French President Emmanuel Macron and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa will be back on December 8 and 9 in Alicante, Spain.

Madrid and Lisbonne, avec l’appui de Berlin, s’efforçaient depuis des semaines de lift les réserves de Paris sur MidCat in vue de la relance d’interconnexions énergétiques face à la crisis en Europe liée au conflit en Ukraine. The gas pipeline should allow Spain, which has a third of Europe’s capacity to regasify LNG (liquefied natural gas), to export gas, which came by boat from the United States or Qatar, to the rest of the country. “Europe.

Les infrastructures gazières reliant la France et l’Espagne. © Studio graphique FMM

An abandoned project for its environmental impact

This project – abandoned in 2019 due to its environmental impact and limited economic interest – should also allow for a longer term transport of green hydrogen, energy of the future produced thanks to renewable energies, including Espagne veut être l’un des champions.

Le projet se heurtait à l’opposition de Paris. On his arrival at the European summit, Emmanuel Macron announced “l’abandon du projet historique MidCat (…) pour favorer un projet que nous allons travail dans les prochaines semaines de manière très intense à trois”.

The French president states that “the objective is to work on the intensification of our electrical interconnections and the densification of these last ones, and to work on a hydrogen and renewable energy interconnection between Barcelona and Marseille”.

Adding that the project had to benefit from European funding, he concluded: “the objective of better relations with the rest of the continent by Spain and Portugal is ainsi relevé, and then the objective that was ours, to continue notre stratégie de conversion climatique et énergétique, match à ce nouveau projet”.

According to AFP and Reuters

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