Italy’s Eni believes nation needs seven LNG terminals instead of the current three and two more planned

Tuesday, 29 November 2022
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Italian energy company Eni said Italy needed to significantly increase its LNG import capacity as in 2023 Russian natural gas imports will be in single digits compared with a year-ago and the amounts could be down to zero.

Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said at a business event in Milan that for security of supplies Italy would need four LNG import facilities rather than the three currently operating.

“The change in the flow of natural gas from Russia means Italy must expand its energy infrastructure in the South to eliminate bottlenecks in the gas grid and to enlarge its storage system,” explained Descalzi.

The Eni CEO noted that natural gas flows from Russian sources had fallen from around 38 percent of Italy's total consumption to around 10 percent in recent months.

“Next year, we expect Russian natural gas be around 6 percent to 7 percent of the total, if even that,” he added.

The country currently has three LNG terminals, which have a capacity of around 17 billion cubic metres of gas.

Operators

SNAM, the gas gride operator whose name comes from Societa Nazionale Metanodotti (National Pipeline Company), operates the onshore Panigaglia LNG facility as well as having a controlling stake in the LNG facility, the “FSRU Toscana”, the floating storage and regasification unit moored off the Italian port of Livorno.

In addition to these two terminals, there is also the offshore Adriatic LNG facility owned  by units of QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil and receiving cargoes from Qatar and other sources.

SNAM has also agreed to purchase two FSRUs for deployment on the East and West coasts of Italy, though Eni believes a further two terminals are needed to give the country a total of seven LNG facilities.

Grid company SNAM also intends to invest more than €3 billion ($3.11Bln) to boost gas network efficiency and to construct more gas storage sites.

SNAM is bringing two FSRU into the Mediterranean to increase the quantities of LNG available, including the FSRU “BW Singapore” from BW Group of Singapore.

It has also bought the “Golar Tundra” for $350M from shipping group Golar LNG.

Italy is additionally seeking more pipeline gas from Algeria, while continuing to receive volumes on the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline from Azerbaijan.

“We have moved from Russian gas coming from pipelines to gas coming on ships,” explained Descalzi.

“We currently don't have enough LNG terminals so we believe that we need four additional facilities,” added the Eni CEO.

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