A potential new gas connection between Spain and France could be ready for launch in less than a year if France and other European countries agree to the project, Spanish Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said, Reuters reports.
"This new interconnection, this gas pipeline could be operating in about eight or nine months on the southern side of the border, that is, from the Pyrenees to Spain," Ribera said.
The France-Spain connection would require another section of pipeline to connect the Spanish network with the French one.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier that a pipeline connecting the Iberian Peninsula to Central Europe would "massively relieve the supply situation now," adding that he had already spoken to leaders in Spain, Portugal, France and the European Commission about it.
Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Scholz's statement "reinforces the pressure on the European institutions to unblock this situation once and for all" and suggested that an alternative to a pipeline through France would be an offshore pipeline from Spain to Italy.
Spain and Portugal have long pushed for a new pipeline, given their ability to receive shipments of liquefied natural gas that could be sent to the rest of Europe.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the European Union should pay for the connection.