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Regulators CRE & CNMC reject France-Spain gas interconnection project STEP

Gasoil News - Published on Fri, 25 Jan 2019

Image Source: SweetCrudeReports
Reuters reported that 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. The French regulator said the EUR 442 million “STEP” interconnector project did not respond to market needs and was not sufficiently mature to get a go-ahead from regulators.

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 EUR 3 billion Midi-Catalonia (Midcat) 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.

In July 2018, French grid operator Terega, owned by Italy’s Snam, and Spanish operator Enagas submitted a project to boost that by 180 GWh in the France to Spain direction and by 230 GWh in the Spain to France direction. The project had strong support from European Union Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, a Spanish national, who considers the pipeline would reduce Europe’s reliance on imported Russian gas.

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Posted By : Joykumar Irom on Fri, 25 Jan 2019
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