The National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) and the French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) have decided to "bury" the gas interconnection project between Spain and France through the eastern Pyrenees, called STEP (South Transit East Pyrenees) MidCat, when rejecting the investment request presented by Enagás and the Teréga gala. From Enagás point out that they are what the regulator decides.
Both agencies stress that the project "does not meet the needs of the market and lacks sufficient maturity to be considered in a cross-border cost allocation ». They also believe that "the cost-benefit analysis of the project does not clearly show that the benefits outweigh the costs in the most likely scenarios."
They also highlight that the market has not expressed "any commercial interest" by new interconnection capacities and stress that the current gas interconnection capacity between France and Spain "is not congested".
Therefore, regulators reject the investment request and recommend to Enagás and Teréga to carry out "additional evaluations" about the project, in order to assess whether it could "provide a clear and positive cost-benefit ratio in the future, taking into account the nature of the capabilities offered".
The investment of the project amounts to about 442 million euros, of which 290 million would be contributed by Teréga and the remaining 152 million by Enagás.
With this project of gas interconnection between France and Spain, it was planned to create an additional exchange capacity between the two countries of 180 GWh / day from France to Spain and 230 GWh / day in the opposite direction.
STEP had been recognized by the European Commission as a project of common interest. The infrastructure consists of a section of gas pipeline 106 kilometers on the Spanish stretch and 120 kilometers on the French.
On the national side, the infrastructure associated with the development of the STEP international connection would be: the Martorell-Figueras gas pipeline, the northern section (Hostalric-Figueras), the Figueras-French border gas pipeline, and the Martorell compression station.