French Finance Minister questions the usefulness of Spain’s MidCat gas pipepline

Maximum cap of €180/MWh on natural gas prices agreed by EU nations

Image of a gas flame burning. Credit: Marian Weyo/

The French Finance Minister has questioned the usefulness of the proposed MidCat gas pipeline from the Iberian Peninsula into Europe.

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Finance, today, Saturday, September 3, questioned the usefulness of the MidCat gas pipeline project. This reaction from the minister comes only days after he announced that he was willing to examine the proposed project.

Spain and Germany are instrumental in wanting the pipeline from the Iberian Peninsula to be built through French territory and continue on into the rest of Europe.

According to statements collected by the Italian daily publication Il Sole 24 Ore, during an economic forum in the Italian town of Cernobbio, Le Maire commented: “I am not sure that a new pipeline will help us get through the next winter”.

The French minister has recognised the need to seek new markets for fossil fuels outside of Russia in the short term, without ‘overheating’ the economies or putting too much pressure on families, mainly in terms of prices.

Alluding to a possible trans-Pyrenean connection, Le Maire said that in the long term he believed that “electricity and hydrogen are more promising than a new gas transmission line”,

He also pointed out that investing in a gas pipeline could generate negative opinions among those who defend concentrating financing on projects that favour the transition towards cleaner energies.

The MidCat project has been paralysed for years, mainly due to its high costs and the hitherto low price of the Russian supply. There are still 226km of pipes to be built from the Catalan town of Hostalric to the French town of Barbaira, and Spain has asked the EU to cover the costs.

At the end of a joint meeting earlier this week, Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Spanish Government, and the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, again advocated the project, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at