The pipeline, H2Med, is expected to supply some two million tons of hydrogen. It will cost some 2.85 billion euros to build.
“The Iberian Peninsula is going to become a fundamental energy gateway for the whole world”. This is how Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, celebrated the alliance between Portugal, Spain and France to implement a green hydrogen corridor in 2030, whose gala launching took place this Friday in Alicante. A pioneering interconnection that, according to the data handled by these countries, will provide 10% of the green hydrogen that Europe will need each year. Of the 20 million tons, H2MED, as this green tube is called, will supply two million tons.
“It is going to be the first great hydrogen corridor of the European Union”, celebrated Pedro Sánchez, after the meeting he held in Alicante, at the headquarters of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, with Von der Leyen herself, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Portuguese António Costa. An appointment to close ranks and show harmony after the implementation of this energy corridor is finally going to be done under the parameters demanded by France: in 2030 and only for green hydrogen, having to give in Spain in its claim to implement this infrastructure before to send gas first.
What Spain has achieved, or at least this has been publicly stated by Sánchez, is that the infrastructure will be “fully completed and operational in 2030”, as opposed to the French push to place it from that year onwards. The times that are handled, at first, are that it will take 56 months to build the tube between Barcelona and Marseilles. The execution between the Celorico and Zamora section would take 48 months.
The cost of this green tube will be around 2,850 million euros, according to estimates of the three countries, although they ask for caution because it is a figure that may vary. This cost is broken down on the basis of the two interconnections that make up the H2MED: 350 million for the link between Celorico and Zamora and 2,500 million for the Barcelona-Marseille link.
The aim is to present it before December 15 as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), which will allow the corridor to be eligible for Community funding instruments such as the “Connecting Europe Facility”. The aim of these three countries is for Europe to be able to cover up to 50% of the cost of the project.
The aim is for this first interconnection to be seen as a window of opportunity for other countries that ask to join this infrastructure, i.e., that it does not end in Marseilles but extends across Europe. This is the wish expressed by Macron, that “other European interconnections can be achieved. There will be other countries that want to participate, that this infrastructure be considered of common interest”.