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Italy is considering installing two floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) to boost LNG imports, reported Reuters.
The move forms part of the country’s efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian gas in the wake of Moscow’s military offensive against Ukraine.
Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said: “Today we officially mandated [gas group] Snam to negotiate the acquisition of an FSRU, and the leasing of a second.”
Sources told the news agency that the two FSRU vessels could be located in the Tyrrhenian Sea and, possibly, in the Adriatic Sea.
With a combined capacity of more than ten billion cubic metres (bcm), the two FSRUs will be situated in ports close to the pipeline infrastructure, according to one of the sources.
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Cingolani added: “The infrastructure[…] will be identified as strategic assets.”
Italy imports over 90% of its gas from Russia. It is now planning to diversify its energy supplies by increasing LNG imports from Qatar, the US, and Mozambique.
Earlier this month, Cingolani said the country could fully replace Russian imports in at least three years. It plans to replace 20bcm in the “near to medium term” through measures such as using more LNG.
According to one of the sources, talks are underway with FSRU providers, but nothing has been concluded.
Last week, Reuters quoted Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio as saying that Italy plans to buy additional gas from Angola and the Congo Republic, in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russia.