Spain, France and Portugal launch the first major green hydrogen corridor in the EU for 2,850 million

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  • Sánchez, Macron and Costa present in Alicante, together with Von der Leyen, the H2Med project to unite the three countries and bring renewable hydrogen to Europe

  • The three countries will request European funds to finance up to 50% of the cost of the macroproject. Brussels anticipates its support: “The project is heading in the right direction”

Spain, France and Portugal launch the first major green hydrogen corridor in the EU for 2,850 million

The first great green hydrogen corridor in Europe begins its journey with the aim of being ready and fully operational by 2030.  It will be in two different sections Portugal, Spain and France with the rest of the EU and will require payment. investments of around 2,850 million euros to start it up (2,500 for the submarine section between Spain and France and 350 for the one between Portugal and Spain). The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced this Friday in Alicante, after a summit with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, at which he was present. also the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen.

H2Med, which thus the  megaproject has been named led by the three countries, you will be able to learn more. It will transport 10% of the green hydrogen consumption forecast for the EU in 2030, around 2 million tons per year, according to the calculations presented by the Spanish president. Madrid, Paris and Lisbon will present the candidacy of the new hydroduct to the European Commission in the next few days to be considered a project of common community interest (PIC) and thus be able to establish the new pipeline. You will be eligible for European funds that could finance up to half of the total cost of the plan.

The H2Med project will have 100,000 dollars. with two different sections. A gas pipeline that will link the Portugal with Spain, between Celorico da Beira and Zamora (known as CelZa), which with a length of 248 kilometers represents an expansion and adaptation of an infrastructure already underway. And a newly built facility serving Barcelona and Marseille (BarMar) with a submarine hydroductIt will be 455 kilometers long and with stretches of almost 2,600 meters deep, and which will finally be used as a It was only used to transport green hydrogen, despite the fact that initial plans included a first phase in which it would be used to transport natural gas.

Backup from Brussels

The Commission The European Union has already given real political support to the project, which, however, still has to go through the filters in Brussels to get up to half of the funding. According to Von der Leyen, the green hydrogen corridor project in the Iberian Peninsula it is fully in line with community plans to promote green energy and the energy sovereignty of the EU.

“We want to produce 10 million tons of green hydrogen in 2030, and import another 10 million. That's why we have identified a number of key corridors, including one that crosses Europe from west to east and through the Peninsula “Said the German. “That is why I welcome this project that is going in the right direction. I welcome your application to make it a project of common interest. Today the Iberian peninsula becomes It became a major energy gateway from Europe to the world.”

“The project is an example of cooperation”, has sentenced Sánchez, who has stressed that the first great European green hydrogen corridor will serve the purpose of the project. to simultaneously fulfill a double commitment: on the one hand, “to strengthen Europe's energy security and strategic autonomy”, to gain “independence from countries that use energy to blackmail” , in reference to the Russia of Vladimir Putin; and, on the other, “reaffirm the EU's determination to climate neutrality.”

Green hydrogen only

H2MED is a substitution from another project, the so-called Midcat, which Spain and Germany wanted to take forward to promote gas interconnections in the Union. The energy crisis derived from the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the Kremlin's closing of the gas tap forced the He was able to dust off this initiative to build a new gas pipeline between Spain and France through the Pyrenees, paralyzed three years ago.

But France was opposed from the beginning and, after months of continuous diplomatic scuffles, Madrid and Paris decided to present a joint alternative (to which they added Portugal) that would allow the Peninsula to be connected with France and the rest of Europe, especially with Germany. Last October, in a trilateral meeting similar to the one to be held in Alicante, they opted to abandon the Midcat (which crossed the Pyrenees) and install an underwater tube from Barcelona to Marseille, complete with another branch of a gas pipeline prepared for green hydrogen from Portugal. 

This Friday, the French president congratulated himself, together with Sánchez and Costa, on the change of course. For Emmanuel Macron, “H2Med is coherent with the collective strategy we have: an ecological objective of reducing emissions and gradually abandoning fossil fuels and electrifying the continent”. The Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, has made it clear that this corridor “will be dedicated exclusively to green hydrogen” and that will allow the part of that gas that is not spent on the peninsula to be “exported” to Europe.

One of the big differences between the Midcat and H2Med, apart from the final journey, is that the latter will only carry green hydrogen, and not conventional natural gas.This was anticipated by government sources this week, because it can only aspire to European funds with the They have to make it viable, they say, if their goal is to transport hydrogen.European funding for this type of infrastructure is restricted to clean energy and cannot go to gas, which is a hydrocarbon. Green gen is a fuel that is obtained mainly through the electrolysis of water and that does not generate emissions.It is part of the strategy for a climate neutral Europe that the Union presented in 2020.&nb sp;