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Italian gas group Snam has agreed to buy floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) Golar Tundra from Bermuda-based LNG shipper Golar LNG in a deal worth $350m.

The deal, which is closed concurrently, involved the acquisition of Golar LNG NB 13 Corporation, whose only asset is the Golar Tundra FSRU.

The Golar Tundra vessel has continuous regasification capacity of five billion cubic meters per year and LNG storage capacity of around 170,000 cubic metres (m³).

Italy’s state-controlled Snam is planning to locate the vessel in central-northern Italy, close to the areas with more gas consumption, to maximise its regasification capacity.

As per the deal terms, Golar Tundra FSRU will be leased by Golar as an LNG carrier to Snam for a limited period.

At this time, Golar will assist Snam in the vessel’s preparatory work for its installation in the selected port.

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By GlobalData

Snam expects the new LNG import terminal to contribute to Italy’s drive towards diversification and energy security.

Italy has been looking to diversify its energy supplies to replace Russian energy in the wake of Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

Snam CEO Stefano Venier said: “With the purchase of the Golar Tundra, Snam is taking a decisive step to enhance the security and diversification of Italy’s energy supplies, in line with its mission.

“The role of the new FSRU for the benefit of our country will be essential: alone it will contribute to about 6.5% of domestic needs thus bringing the country’s regasification capacity to over 25% of the demand.

“Snam completed the transaction quickly and effectively in a highly competitive market due to the scarcity of supply and is continuing its efforts to acquire a second FSRU of a similar size, for which exclusive negotiations are currently under way and expected to be finalised by end of June.”

Subject to completion of the regulatory processes, authorisation, and the necessary infrastructure construction, the Golar Tundra vessel is planned to start production during the spring of 2023.

Golar CEO Karl Fredrik Staubo commented: “With the sale of Golar Tundra, Golar reinforces its focus on FLNG, enabling efficient production of proven gas reserves allowing customers to further diversify gas supply.”

The Italian firm also entered exclusive talks to purchase second FSRU. A purchase deal is anticipated to be finalised by Snam by the end of this month, reported Reuters.