Sunday, June 11

Spain and Italy could be connected by a gas pipeline between Barcelona and Genoa

Material for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. / EP

The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, confirms the “hypothesis” of the construction of this infrastructure that would take advantage of the great regasification capacity of our country

MINOR DARIO Correspondent in Rome

Spain and Italy are studying the construction of a gas pipeline across the Mediterranean that, taking advantage of the great regasification capacity of our country with its six plants, will allow the Italian market to overcome its dependence on Russian gas, from which 45% came from last year of its imports in this raw material. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Italy, like other European countries, is trying to reduce its purchases of hydrocarbons from Moscow as much as possible.

The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, confirmed this Thursday in a meeting with foreign journalists in Rome that there is “the hypothesis” of the construction of this infrastructure between Spain and Italy, which, according to what he said, he spoke with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, at the last European Council in Brussels. The gas pipeline would depart from Barcelona and reach Genoa. “After this crisis,” said Draghi, referring to the war in Ukraine, “the countries of southern Europe can be a very important center of operations for gas today, but also for hydrogen tomorrow.”

Another gas pipeline on which preventive studies are being carried out is the EastMed, which aims to supply the EU with natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean. Although he acknowledged that these “important infrastructures” cannot be counted on in the current crisis and that they will force investments “that take years”, Draghi highlighted how “what has happened in recent months” with the war in Ukraine changes the “framework of feasibility”.

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The words of the Italian Prime Minister come a few days after the CEO of the Italian gas company Snam, Marco Alverá, acknowledged in a meeting with analysts that studies were being carried out for the construction of a new gas pipeline between Spain and Italy. “Given Spain’s extensive regasification capacity, we are studying all the options with our partners to unblock the capacity of the Midcat gas pipeline to France,” said Alverá, referring to the gas connection project with France, which is paralyzed.

The lack of “tangible progress with the Midcat”, commented the CEO of Snam, is what would lead to the construction of the new gas pipeline between Barcelona and Genoa. Meanwhile, this company has already set up a naval connection between the Spanish regasification plants and the plant that Snam has in the port of La Spezia, in northwestern Italy, in order to facilitate the end of dependence on hydrocarbons sold by Moscow. Draghi, in fact, congratulated himself on how the diversification of imports is going. “We are moving quickly to replace between 30 and 40% of Russian gas purchases”, with which, as he acknowledged, Vladimir Putin is financing the invasion of Ukraine.

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