North African gas to reach Central Europe through Catalonia by 2020 to reduce 40% Russian dependency
A strategic gas pipeline is to be built through the Catalan Pyrenees, linking the Iberian Peninsula with France and Central Europe. The Midcat project aims to reduce Europe's dependency on Russian gas by 40%, diversifying the sources of supply. The pipeline should be operational by 2020, announced on Thursday the Spanish Minister for Industry, José Manuel Soria. The day before, French President, François Hollande, Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, Portuguese PM, Pedro Passos Coelho, and European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, re-launched the project's construction. Midcat started to be planned in 2007 but it was halted for several years, mainly due to a lack of interest from French companies and institutions, which were not guaranteeing to build their part. Now, the crisis with Russia has reignited the urge to find alternative gas suppliers for Central Europe.