March 2019, Vol. 246, No. 3


Regulators Reject France-Spain Gas Interconnect

Regulators Reject France-Spain Gas Interconnect  

French energy regulator CRE and its Spanish counterpart CNMC have rejected a project by France and Spain’s grid operators to build a gas pipeline across the Pyrenees, CRE said in a statement.  

The French regulator said the $502 million (442 million euro) “STEP” interconnector project did not respond to market needs and was not sufficiently mature to get a go-ahead from regulators.  

Reuters reported in April that a report prepared for the European Commission had questioned the viability of STEP, which would have been the first part of an EU-backed Midi-Catalonia pipeline project to more than double gas transport capacity between the two nations.  

Gas pipeline operators typically earn a government-set fixed return on their investments, which can only be charged to consumers if regulators consider the investment necessary.  

CRE said current gas exchange capacity between Spain and France was 225 gigawatt-hour per day.    


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