In the presence of EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete, two grant agreements amounting to €5.6 million will be signed today for studies necessary to launch construction works of the Midcat gas pipeline.
This will help increase the existing interconnection capacity between the French and Spanish gas systems and enable further bi-directional gas flows between the two countries. As a result, this will ensure market integration of the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Europe.
Arias Cañete said: "Today's signature marks an important first step for further integrating the gas markets of the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Europe. For businesses and families to be able to reap the full benefits of an integrated energy market, energy must be able to flow freely across Europe. When built, MidCat will increase energy security across the EU, especially in EU countries more dependent on a single supplier, and end the isolation of EU countries from EU-wide energy networks."
The Midcat project is part of the EU list of 'Projects of Common Interest' and its strategic importance has been acknowledged in the so-called Madrid Declaration, signed on 4 March 2015 by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Heads of State or Government of France, Portugal and Spain.
The money will come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an EU funding programme for energy infrastructure. The grants will cover up to 50% of the actual incurred eligible costs.