Gas companies are working “urgently” to extend the France-Spain gas pipeline

People work at the Enagas liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Zona Franca in Barcelona, ​​Spain, March 29, 2022. REUTERS/Albert Gea

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MADRID, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Spanish gas network operator Enagas (ENAG.MC) said on Thursday it was working “urgently” with its French counterpart Terega on increasing the capacity of a cross-border gas pipeline as Europe strives to bolster its energy supplies.

There are two gas pipelines between France and Spain with a combined capacity to transport seven billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, or the equivalent of seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers per month, and a third interconnection is under study.

Enagas said the capacity of the conduit that runs from the city of Irun in northern Spain through the Pyrenees mountain range could be increased by an additional 1.5 billion cubic meters per year after an upgrade.

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“Urgent technical works are underway at the Irun Interconnector to maximize the use of its two motor-compressors,” Enagas said.

Europe is scrambling to diversify its energy sources after the Russian invasion of Ukraine plunged the continent into an energy crisis. Read more

France, once the continent’s biggest electricity exporter, may not produce enough nuclear power this winter to help its European neighbors seeking alternatives to Russian gas, and may even have to ration electricity to meet its needs. own needs. Read more

Spain and Portugal have seven LNG terminals which they say could help supply central Europe if additional pipelines are built. Discussions have been relaunched around a Spain-France project called “Midcat” which was abandoned in 2019. read more

But France is against the project, arguing that the two existing pipelines are underutilized with flows going mainly to Spain.

Terega’s main shareholders are Italian gas network operator Snam (SRG.MI) and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, according to its website.

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Reporting by Emma Pinedo Editing by Andrei Khalip and Mark Potter

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