“Historic breakthrough” as France agrees to Iberian energy interconnections
Image: @antoniocostapm

“Historic breakthrough” as France agrees to Iberian energy interconnections

New project dubbed “Green Energy Corridor”

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, has hailed an “historic breakthrough” today as France has finally agreed to Iberian interconnections for gas and electricity.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived at the European Council in Brussels, the PM said that agreement was reached this morning at a meeting involving Spanish counterpart Pedro Sánchez and France’s President Macron.

“Today, we have reached an agreement to definitively overcome the old project, the so-called MidCat pipeline, and create a new project, which we have called the Green Energy Corridor, which will complement interconnections between Portugal and Spain, between Celorico da Beira and Zamora, and also make a connection between Spain and the rest of Europe, linking Barcelona and Marseille by sea,” said Mr Costa.

The essence of the corridor is a “pipeline dedicated to ‘green’ hydrogen and other renewable gases but which, on a transitional basis, can be used to transport natural gas – up to a certain amount”.

In addition to this “electric interconnections will also be reinforced”.

Now it is a case of getting the details right “from a technical point of view”, in terms of European funding” – namely by discovering what the European Commission may be able to allocate towards the project.

“It is good news”, beamed the PM who has been determined to change France’s previous ‘no way’ stance on this. “One of the oldest blockages in Europe has been overcome, and Portugal and Spain are making a good contribution to Europe as a whole, showing how, by overcoming blockages, it is possible to help the spirit of common solidarity” at a time of energy crisis.

The EU’s energy crisis is the focus of discussion at the European summit which will continue into tomorrow. The idea is for leaders to study measures to combat high prices and ensure security of supply, including by joint-purchasing – one of a number of ideas introduced this week by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com