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Chief executive of gas grid operator Enagas, Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri told reporters on Thursday that the European Union funds could finance 30% – 50% of the underwater hydrogen pipeline to be laid between Spain and France.

Spain and France have agreed to explore the possibility of building a pipeline to ship green hydrogen between Barcelona and Marseille at a cost of about €2.1 billion, Gonzalo said, while a connection between Spain and Portugal would cost around €350 million.

The funding would come from that set aside by the EU for key cross-border energy infrastructure designated as “Projects of Common Interest”.

Gonzalo said the remaining 50% – 70% of the cost would be covered by the countries which would benefit from the project, the pipeline’s future customers and fees charged to ship the gas.

“It will have no cost for Spanish consumers,” he added.

Enagas’s top executive said the countries involved, including Germany which expressed interest last month, were “advancing in the technical definition” of the project, which is being evaluated to see if it meets the EU’s funding requirements.