Spain says gas link to wider EU could be ready within months


Spain has stated a further link in a gas pipeline from the Iberian peninsula to France could be ready within 9 months after Germany backed the concept of linking the area to central Europe to enhance the continent’s vitality safety.

Spanish vitality and setting minister Teresa Ribera stated on Friday {that a} new part of pipeline from Spain into France could be constructed in lower than a yr as a part of makes an attempt to wean Europe off Russian gas.

The new link could enhance Spain’s capability to export gas by 20-30 per cent, she advised Spanish broadcaster TVE.

Portuguese prime minister António Costa stated: “Germany can count 100 per cent on Portugal’s commitment to the building of a gas pipeline.” Writing on Twitter on Thursday, Costa added: “Today gas, tomorrow green hydrogen.”

The transfer comes as Europe is grappling with the most important vitality disaster in no less than a era following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. Moscow has minimize gas provides to Europe and there are dangers of shortages this winter and in 2023 if Russian exports are lowered additional.

The lack of Russian provides, which met 40 per cent of EU demand earlier than the invasion, has pressured Europe to rely extra closely on imported cargos of seaborne liquefied pure gas.

But a lot of Europe’s LNG import capability lies on the Iberian peninsula, which is considered within the trade as a gas “island” as there’s restricted pipeline capability connecting it to northern Europe.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz stated on Thursday that he had mentioned a brand new pipeline with the leaders of Spain, Portugal and France and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

He added that there would additionally be “other connections between north Africa and Europe that will help us to diversify our [energy] supply”.

Europe is having to discover methods to rejig its inside pipeline arteries, which have been designed primarily based on the belief that a lot of the continent’s provide would movement from Russia.

Even if the continent can safe various provides resembling LNG or extra pipeline exports from international locations together with Norway or Algeria, there are considerations about bottlenecks in transferring provides eastward to international locations nearer to Russia.

Wholesale gas costs in Europe have soared to nearly 10 occasions the typical degree of the previous decade.

The EU is attempting to emphasise “solidarity” over sharing and conserving vitality provides amongst member states forward of what’s anticipated to be a tough winter. But there are nonetheless questions over guidelines and agreements governing how to distribute sources if there are widespread shortages.

Until the brand new pipeline is accomplished, Costa stated the port of Sines on Portugal’s south-west coast could be used as a logistics hub to ship LNG into the remainder of Europe.

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