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Italian govt plans rapid launch of regasification plant at Piombino

·1-min read
Italian PM Draghi addresses Senate in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government has approved plans for the rapid construction of a regasification terminal at Piombino, on the west coast of Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Friday.

The government has previously indicated it wants to have a new regasification vessel operational in Piombino by March 2023, despite fierce opposition from the local community, as it looks to make up for a shortfall of Russian gas imports.

"We have a measure that establishes a rapid and certain timeframe for the installation of the regasification terminal in Piombino, which is essential, a national security issue, essential to guarantee gas supplies," Draghi told reporters.

Following Russian invasion of Ukraine, Rome has clinched deals with several fuel producing countries, including Egypt and Congo, to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) to compensate for lower Russian imports.

Rome last year got from Russia 40% of the gas it imported.

Italy's LNG import capacity, however, is nearly saturated, the chief executive of energy group Eni said on Wednesday, calling for an expansion of the country's LNG infrastructure.

State-controlled gas grid operator Snam in June bought a new floating storage and regasification unit (FRSU) it plans to moor in the port of Piombino.

The government on Friday also gave its green light to the completion of six wind farms in the country, Draghi's said.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Louise Heavens)