December 26, 2022 [Offshore Engineer] – Italy plans to boost its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity to 27 billion cubic metres (bcm) from nearly 17 bcm currently as it seeks to completely replace Russian gas supplies following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
In 2021, Moscow provided Rome with 29 bcm of gas via pipelines, equal to around 40% of Italy’s total imports but Russian supplies have fallen in recent months to around 10% of total imports.
Italy, which can now count on three LNG terminals, has mandated gas grid operator Snam SRG.MI to buy and set up two additional floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) near the cities of Piombino and Ravenna.
A timely start for the Piombino FSRU is crucial to allow Italy to fill gas storage facilities in time for winter 2023, Rome said.
An Italian administrative court said on Thursday it had ruled against a request for a precautionary halt on works at Piombino.
It could still decide to stop the project at a hearing it has scheduled on March 8 to assess longer-term safety issues relating to the floating terminal.
Below are details on the new and existing terminals:
PIOMBINO/ITALY’S WEST COAST
Snam plans to moor a new FSRU dubbed ‘Golar Tundra’ in the port of Piombino for the next three years, before moving it offshore.
The FSRU will have an annual regasification capacity of 5 bcm.
OFFSHORE RAVENNA/ADRIATIC SEA
Snam plans to place a FSRU dubbed ‘BW Singapore’ some 8 km off the coast of Ravenna in the Adriatic Sea.
The FSRU has a regasification capacity of 5 bcm per year and is expected to become operational at the end of 2024.
The new FSRU has secured all the green lights needed.
SITES ALREADY IN USE
Adriatic LNG is Italy’s main regasification terminal.
It is located in the northern Adriatic Sea, about 15 km off Porto Viro in the Veneto region, and is managed by Italy’s Terminale GNL Adriatico.
The facility has recently expanded its yearly regasification capacity to 9 bcm of gas.
The terminal, which started operations in September 2009, is 70.7% owned by ExxonMobil XOM.N, with Qatar Energy and Snam controlling 22% and 7.3% respectively.
The LNG terminal managed by OLT Offshore LNG Toscana is moored about 22 km off the Tuscan coast between Pisa and Livorno.
The infrastructure, which was converted from an LNG carrier to an FSRU, currently has an annual capacity of 3.75 bcm.
In October 2022 the Tuscany region approved an upgrade of the terminal’s maximum regasification capacity to 5 bcm a year.
Snam is the main investor in OLT Offshore LNG Toscana, with a 49.1% stake. Global asset manager Igneo Infrastructure Partners holds a 48.2% stake, and Golar LNG GLNG.O owns the remaining 2.7%.
The Panigaglia terminal is an onshore facility located in Fezzano di Porto Venere in Italy’s northwestern Liguria region.
It has an annual regasification capacity of 3.5 bcm of gas.
Built in 1971, Panigaglia is the first regasification plant to be operational in Italy.
The plant is owned and managed by Snam unit GNL Italia.
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