A new European gas pipeline link could be ready in 9 months as support builds to bypass Russian supplies

·2-min read
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz addresses the media during a joint statement with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.Michele Tantussi/AP
  • A new gas pipeline link from the Iberian Peninsula to France could be ready within nine months, said Spain's energy minister.

  • The new project could boost Spain's gas export capacity by up to 30%.

  • Meanwhile, Russia has slashed capacity on its Nord Stream gas pipeline to just 20%.

A new European gas pipeline link could be ready in less than a year as the continent moves to minimize its reliance on Russian supplies amid a worsening energy crisis.

On Friday, Spain's energy and environment minister told local media that a segment of pipeline from Spain to France could be ready in nine months and boost gas export capacity by 20% to 30%, according to a Financial Times.

On Thursday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz voiced support for a new pipeline, adding that he had discussed it with leaders from Spain, Portugal, and France, as well as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Meanwhile, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa tweeted his backing on Thursday: "Germany can count 100 per cent on Portugal's commitment to the building of a gas pipeline."

The flurry of enthusiasm for the new vehicle for gas deliveries comes as Europe faces its most dire energy crisis in decades. Russia has slashed gas supplies to Europe and most recently reduced flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 20% of capacity.

The Iberian peninsula could serve as a key conduit for alternative gas supplies as it harbors much of Europe's liquefied natural gas import capacity. Germany's Scholz also said Thursday there should be "other connections between north Africa and Europe that will help us to diversify our [energy] supply."

Before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Russian supplies accounted for roughly 40% of Europe's energy demand. Now, other nations, including the US, have ramped up LNG exports to Europe to help plug the gap.

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