Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has demanded that France stops blocking its planned MidCat gas pipeline through the Pyrenees, pointing out that it will be essential for reducing dependence on Russian gas in central and eastern Europe, Reuters reported.
Seven LNG terminals in Spain and Portugal might feed central Europe through additional pipelines, such as the proposed Spain-to-France MidCat pipeline.
“I hope that France understands that it is no longer possible to block this project. I hope it happens as soon as possible,” Costa told TVI and CNN Portugal late on Monday.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron declared his opposition to the MidCat project, claiming that two existing pipelines across the Pyrenees and separate France from the Iberian Peninsula are underutilized with flows primarily going to Spain.
Costa said he recognized France’s desire to defend its nuclear energy sector, but he emphasized that central and eastern European nations urgently need to diversify their energy supplies.
“Today, with the energy crisis in Europe, there cannot be this competition between types of energy,” he said.
Costa claims that if France continues to block the project, the European Commission has identified a subsea pipeline connecting Spain and Italy as a replacement for MidCat.
According to Spanish officials, that project will probably cost more money and take longer to complete.