September 30, 2022

The French Minister of Finance questions the usefulness of the MidCat gas pipeline

The French Minister of Finance questioned the usefulness of the MidCat gas pipeline project linking the Iberian Peninsula to Europe.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Finance, questioned today Saturday, September 3 on the usefulness of the MidCat gas pipeline project. This reaction from the Minister comes just days after he announced that he was willing to consider the proposed project.

Spain and Germany are helping to ensure that the Iberian Peninsula gas pipeline is built through French territory and continues to the rest of Europe.

According to statements collected by the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, at an economic forum in the Italian town of Cernobbio, Le Maire commented: “I’m not sure that a new pipeline will help us get through the coming winter.”

The French minister acknowledged the need to seek new markets for fossil fuels outside Russia in the short term, without “overheating” economies or putting too much pressure on families, mainly in terms of price.

Hinting at a possible trans-Pyrenees link, Le Maire said that in the long term he believed that “electricity and hydrogen are more promising than a new gas transmission line”,

He also pointed out that investing in a gas pipeline could generate negative opinions among those who defend the concentration of funding on projects promoting the transition to cleaner energy.

The MidCat project has been crippled for years, mainly due to its high costs and the hitherto low price of the Russian offer. There are still 226km of pipeline to be built between the Catalan town of Hostalric and the French town of Barbaira, and Spain has asked the EU to cover the costs.

Following a joint meeting earlier this week, Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz again defended the project, as reported 20minutes.es.

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