To contain the energy crisis, Germany and Spain are jointly pushing for the construction of a gas pipeline across the Pyrenees.
In a joint action plan that was decided on Wednesday at the German-Spanish government consultations in La Coruña, the two countries are committed to the realization of the line called Midcat between Spain and France by 2025. Later, hydrogen produced with renewable energies will also be transported in this way. However, France has so far resisted the construction.
At a joint press conference, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez campaigned for the realization of the Pyrenees pipeline. "I expressly advocate that we create this connection," said Scholz, especially with regard to the possibility of transporting hydrogen.
Sanchez had already emphasized in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" before the consultations that the management was about European security of supply. "This is not a bilateral issue, it affects the entire EU. In view of the war in Ukraine, the interests of Europe and not individuals should take precedence."
Natural gas from Spain - but also from Portugal
The action plan covers almost all policy areas from education and research to economy, defense and security. Sanchez spoke of a very practice-oriented document. Relations between the two countries rest on "very solid foundations".
The passage on energy cooperation is of particular current importance. The Midcat pipeline advocated by Scholz and Sanchez is to run from Barcelona across the Pyrenees to the connection to the French network in Barbaira in southern France. In Spain, the tube is complete as far as Hostalric, 106 kilometers south of the border; in France, around 120 kilometers are missing. The project was canceled in 2017 due to lack of profitability.
The natural gas that is to flow north through the pipe could be sourced by Spain and Portugal from different sources, since the two countries together have a total of seven LNG terminals. There are also two pipelines to the gas supplier Algeria in North Africa.
These are the first German-Spanish government consultations in nine years. In addition to the heads of government, several ministers on both sides always take part in such meetings. The Federal Government regularly conducts such consultations with partner countries such as Israel, India and Italy. Previously - until the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 - they also existed with the government in Moscow.