The Government seeks European economic support for the joint hydroduct with France and Portugal

First it was MidCat. Then BarMar. And finally it will be called H2Med. This Friday it is expected that all the technical details of the new “green” corridor that the governments of Spain, France and Portugal agreed to last October. Alicante hosts a formal summit on this matter, taking advantage of the hours leading up to the Euro-Mediterranean Summit scheduled below. The main objective of the Government of Pedro Sanchez is to ensure that the project has the financial backing of the European Union.

The unknowns about the new conduit are still numerous. The intention is that transports only green hydrogen. Something that the experts consulted by Public Almost a couple of months ago they looked hard to get. Sources from the Sánchez government assured this Wednesday that the hydroduct will only transport green hydrogen and not gas at first, as had been suggested.

One of the main reasons is precisely related to access to financing from the EU. The requirements imposed by the European Commission to cover the costs of this type of new projects indicate that the infrastructures can only be used for green energy. “The rules are clear”stand out in Moncloa.

At the summit, which will take place in the morning, the Government hopes to formalize the commitment of Spain, Portugal and France to the H2Med project. Also present will be the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Something that according to Moncloa is very important at a symbolic level since at all times they consider that the hydroduct must have a “European dimension” and that it connects with the community strategy of giving relevance to energies such as green hydrogen.

The project, once the details have been finalized, will be submitted to the European call for projects whose term ends on December 15. In this type of calls for infrastructures, the European Commission finances between 30% and 50% of the total costs. The Government of Sánchez has the objective of aspiring to the maximum, that is, let the EU finance half of the hydroduct.

The ecological transition or renewable energies have been one of the political aspects in which Sánchez has most wanted to influence in recent times. Even in a documentary projected by the PSOE on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the victory of Felipe González, he recognized that he would like to be remembered as a president who put this issue on the public agenda. Promote the ecological transition It is also among his objectives as the new president of the Socialist International.

Sánchez has forged a special and strategic relationship with the Prime Minister of Portugal, also a socialist Antonio Costa. His complicity in energy matters could be seen again in Madrid on the occasion of the Congress of the Socialist International. Both shared a talk focused directly on this issue. And they established their political objectives with their commitment to be, jointly, a green hydrogen exporting power.

The president spoke at that time of “Iberian socialism” or “Iberian utopia” to refer to this opportunity. “It is a winning bet for Spain and Portugal. The fact that we can turn the Iberian Peninsula into that exporting power, for the first time, is something worth working for,” said Sánchez. Precisely the capacity to generate this energy and its profitability in the Iberian Peninsula is another of the doubts expressed by some experts in the field.

The infrastructure that will connect Portugal with Barcelona and with the French city of Marseille is complex, expensive and with long deadlines to start working. Sánchez and Costa had a hard time convincing French President Emmanuel Macron. Despite the fact that the resulting project was not the one they had devised (this consisted of a gas pipeline to use to alleviate Russia’s energy dependence in Europe), the Government sold the agreement as a victory without nuances.

Pending the details of this Friday and how the financing of the project is, the Government is considering that it could be underway between 2026 or 2030. The third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge advanced a few days ago, Teresa Ribera. “In one or two legislatures” he said he expects H2Med to be operational.

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