Gas connection decision between Catalonia and France to be made this year

Catalonia is the territory with the largest consumption of gas within the Spanish state, with 19% of the total


July 6, 2010 10:49 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- The president of Enagas, Antoni Llarden, said that the European Commission is researching a possible gas connection between Catalonia and the Midi-Pyrénées in France. Llarden thinks that the decision will be made before the end of the year and hopes to begin construction by 2015. He explained that the consumption of conventional gas of families and businesses during the first semester has risen slightly above the levels of 2008, just before the crisis escalated. Despite this good news, Llarden is not predicting anything for the second semester yet. This year will be conditioned by economic evolution, and Llarden stated, “I do not dare to say how that will go”.
The president of Enagas said that a decision on whether or not to construct a gas pipeline to connect Catalonia and France is to be made this year by the European Commission. Llarden informed that a pipeline to transport gas from Barcelona to the north of Catalonia will be built with a diameter as to fit into the French pipeline system.

Catalonia is the territory with the largest consumption of gas within the Spanish state as it absorbs 19% of the total consumption. The consumption structure in Catalonia is different from that of the Spanish state, according to Llarden. While Catalonia records 72% of its consumption by families and businesses, the Spanish state records 60% of gas consumption for conventional use and 40% for electric energy. Llarden stated that the export business is one of the largest consumers of gas.

Antoni Llarden explained that the consumption of gas, including electrical and conventional energy (businesses and families) has risen this year by 4% compared to the same period in 2009. According to this same data, the consumption of gas to produce electricity that cogeneration plants use has gone down by 5%. The consumption of gas in homes and businesses has risen by 7%.

The president of Enagas has stated that during the first months of this year, the consumption of gas has reached a total of 30,900 GW/hr, an amount superior to the one registered before the crisis escalated in the first semester of 2008, where it was calculated at 30,867 GW/hr.

Llarden confirmed that Enagas is investing 123 million euros to improve the gas network and the current installations. The company also plans to spend 285 million euros to store liquid gas at the Port of Barcelona, and 360 million more to build a pipeline to connect Mataró, Barcelona and Figueres.

The Catalan Minister for Economy, Antoni Castells, said that Barcelona is the 'heart' of the gas industry in Spain, and highlighted the role of Catalonia in the development of improved gas infrastructures.