Posted on October 27, 2022
Gas network operator Snam won approval to install Italy’s newest liquefied natural gas terminal, overcoming local opposition and boosting the country’s bid to improve energy security and wean itself off Russian supplies, according to Energy Voice.
The decision by a state-appointed commissioner cleared the process to install the Golar Tundra floating storage regasification unit that state-controlled Snam bought earlier this year, according to a statement. The facility, known as an FSRU, is due to go into operation in spring of 2023.
The project had faced staunch opposition in the city of Piombino, where the vessel is due to be deployed. Activists cited threats to the environment and the impact on local employment, particularly in the fishing industry.
The authorization is linked to compensation for the local community, the Tuscan government said, including financing for docks dedicated to fishing and tourism, a 50% reduction in energy bills in the area where the vessel will be situated and hiring incentives to local companies.
The terminal will be crucial for Italy’s future energy security following what promises to be a tight winter season. Imports of Russian gas are at historic lows with little prospect for a return to past levels.
It also marks an early victory for Draghi’s successor, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who’s pledged to make the energy crisis a top priority for her right-wing government. Still, Piombino Mayor Francesco Ferrari, a lawmaker from Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, has said he’ll appeal the ruling.
While the facility won’t be online this winter, Snam expects it to contribute about 6.5% of Italy’s domestic requirements and play a major role in processing LNG deliveries next year to refill gas storage.
Gas from Algeria is set to reach 38% of the country’s total supply next year, matching the level traditionally imported from Russia.