MADRID - Spain said on Sunday that agreement had been reached for Germany to join an ambitious hydrogen pipeline project that will take the “green” gas from the Iberian Peninsula to the rest of Europe.
Madrid, Paris and Lisbon agreed in December to build by 2030 a major undersea pipeline to transport hydrogen from Spain and Portugal to France and eventually the rest of Europe.
The pipeline linking the northeastern Spanish port of Barcelona to France’s Marseille – dubbed H2Med – comes as Europe scrambles to reduce dependence on Russian energy following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is also seen as helping Europe transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.
Spain’s energy ministry said the deal reached on Sunday “for Germany to join H2Med” follows “talks between the governments of Spain, Germany, France and Portugal, which were favoured by their deeply European vision”.
The agreement “reinforces the pan-European dimension of H2Med” and positions Spain to “become a leading hub of green energy from the Iberia Peninsula to central and northern Europe,” the ministry added in a statement.
The pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea will carry green hydrogen, which is made from water via electrolysis in a process using renewable energy.
The Spanish government estimates H2Med will be able to supply some two million metric tons of hydrogen to France annually – 10 per cent of the European Union’s estimated hydrogen needs.
The project is expected to cost €2.5 billion (S$3.5 billion).
It was proposed in October as a substitute for the so-called MidCat gas pipeline project across the Pyrenees, which had been championed by Spain and Portugal.
MidCat was abandoned in 2019 over profitability issues and objections from Paris and environmentalists. AFP