Italy’s Environment and Energy Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin said on Wednesday that deliveries by ship of liquefied natural gas (LNG) were a reliable source of energy that could cover 50% of the country’s gas needs.
Italy’s gas supplies came mainly from Russia prior to last year’s invasion of Ukraine, with imports from Moscow totalling 29 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2021.
Rome has been seeking alternative energy sources over the last year and LNG terminals are part of the strategy, even though they have triggered protests from local communities at the sites chosen by the government.
Pichetto Fratin told daily La Stampa that LNG terminals could cover 50% of Italy’s gas requirements, without giving a timeline for when this could be reached.
“They are more reliable than pipelines, which don’t offer sufficient guarantees,” he said.
Last year Italy asked Snam (SRG.MI) to set up two additional floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) one in Piombino and the other one in Ravenna, in a move to boost the country’s storage capacity from 17 to 27 bcm.
As the latest floating terminal for LNG set up in the Tuscan port of Piombino became operational at the end of last month, Italy can currently rely on four LNG terminals.
The plant in Ravenna has not started operations yet.