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Controversial regasification plant arrives in Italy

PIOMBINO (ITALY) – A new floating storage and regasification plant believed to be crucial to Italy’s energy security arrived in Tuscany on Sunday, sparking local protests.

Once installed at the Piombino site, the Golar Tundra will receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) from other transport companies, which will convert it back to a gaseous state that can be fed into Italy’s national grid.

Stefano Venier, chief executive of Italian gas group Snam, which owns the unit, said earlier this week it would be operational from May.

The project is key to Italy’s plan to reduce its dependence on Russian gas after invading Ukraine, during which it also signed new deals with partners like Algeria and Libya.

Former Energy Secretary Roberto Cingolani said last year it was “essential to national security”.

The site was chosen so that gas could easily be transported to Italy’s heavily industrialized north, although the government says this is temporary and it will move after three years.

But there have been months of local protests against the project, and a small march was held on Sunday ahead of the ship’s overnight arrival from Singapore.

Opponents say it will pose health and safety risks for travelers between the port city of Piombino and the island of Elba, a popular holiday destination.

Environmental groups have also warned that the project will slow Italy’s transition to renewable energy.

The Golar tundra can store 170,000 cubic meters of LNG and has an annual regasification capacity of five billion cubic meters, according to Snam.

“Five billion cubic meters of gas allows us to achieve a level of self-sufficiency that allows families to think about lower bills,” said Tuscany President Eugenio Giani at the port.

Snam said last summer the unit could meet about 6.5 percent of Italy’s needs, taking the national regasification capacity to over 25 percent of demand.

Russia supplied about 40 percent of Italy’s gas in 2021, but that share fell to 16 percent last year, officials say.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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