Spain could replace Russia in becoming EU’s main natural gas hub

Spain houses just over a third or 35% of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage capacity in the EU and the UK, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIP), the association of European gas infrastructure operators, comprising 67 companies from 26 countries. [INSAGO / Shutterstock]

Spain, which houses the EU’s largest storage and regasification capacity, could fill the gas gap left by Russia because of the war in Ukraine. However, its limited interconnections with the rest of the continent continue to be a problem.

Spain houses just over a third or 35% of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage capacity in the EU and the UK, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIP), the association of European gas infrastructure operators, comprising 67 companies from 26 countries.

With a capacity of 3.31 million cubic metres, Spain is first,  followed by the UK, which accounts for 22% of LNG storage capacity (2.09 million); France (14% and 1.35 million), Belgium (6% and 0.56 million) and Italy (5% and 0.54 million), according to GIP data, EURACTIV’S partner EFE reported.

Spain also leads in terms of regasification capacity, allowing Spain to face the current crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with more guarantees than its EU neighbours, at least in terms of security of supply, experts told EFE.

In addition to its storage and regasification capacities, the country’s connection with Algeria – where 90% of its gas supply comes from – could help Spain provide an alternative to the supply of Russian gas to Central Europe.

However, there is no connection with the central European gas system.

In a recent interview with EFE, Gonzálo Escribano, director of the Energy and Climate Programme at Elcano Royal Institute, one of Spain’s most prestigious think tanks, said it is unacceptable that Spain continues to be a European “island” in terms of energy 

In recent weeks many have called the resumption of the construction of the Midcat gas pipeline, the project for a new gas interconnection with France, which has stalled due to objections from the Spanish and French regulators.

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