Energy regulators reject Spanish-French gas project

MidCat pipeline did not respond to "market needs" and was too costly, they say


Enagas plant in the Port of Barcelona, October 23, 2018
Enagas plant in the Port of Barcelona, October 23, 2018 / ACN

ACN | Brussels

January 23, 2019 12:48 PM

French and Spanish energy regulators have rejected the project to build a gas pipeline across the Pyrenees to connect the grids of France and Spain. Both authorities said the Midi-Catalonia pipeline (MidCat) did not respond to market needs and was not mature enough to be eligible for a decision by regulators.

They also pointed out that costs were "high when compared with European standards."

"The project’s cost-benefit analysis does not clearly show that its benefits overweigh its costs in the most credible scenarios," says the joint decision.

Permission to build the three-billion euro MidCAT project was requested by Spanish operator Enagás and French operator Teréga, and had been listed by the European Commission as a "project of common interest" for the EU. However, the projected pipeline that was to cross Catalonia faced strong opposition, particularly among green NGOs due to its environmental and territorial impact.  

Girona, northern Catalonia, rejects project

The gas pipeline would cross Catalonia, and on Wednesday, the Girona region authority, in the northern part of the country, rejected it in a vote.