Italy has begun preliminary talks with Bavaria on the supply of gas and hydrogen, and aims to sell energy to Austria and Hungary, reports Világgazdaság.
Giorgia Meloni’s government plans to act as an energy gateway between Europe and Africa, taking advantage of its neighbors’ efforts to get rid of their dependence on Russian gas, news agency Reuters reported. Eni, Italy’s biggest gas importer, buys significant volumes from Africa. Together with several other Italian companies, they now want to increase sales of gas that exceed domestic demand.
Rome is able to supply gas to Austria, Hungary, and Bavaria through the Adriatic Line,
Energy Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin confirmed. Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to be completed by 2027, by its operator, Snam. The project is expected to increase gas transport capacity from southern Italy to around 10 billion cubic meters per year over four years.
State-controlled Snam is investing EUR 2.5 billion in the pipeline and will also contribute to the planned SoutH2 network, which will transport hydrogen from Africa to northern Europe from 2030.
Fact The SoutH2 Corridor project is a 3,300 km hydrogen pipeline connecting North Africa, Italy, Austria, and Germany. It aims to supply competitive renewable hydrogen to European demand clusters. The SoutH2 Corridor plays a vital role in enabling the transportation of both imported and domestically produced hydrogen.
Markus Kerber, a leading strategist for Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Union party, said that Bavaria, with its advanced industry, was keen to conclude agreements to boost its energy security. “Germany is organizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and other solutions in the north, but it cannot be ruled out that the construction of infrastructure will be delayed or stalled. That is why the southern federal states want a Plan B for security,” Kerber stressed.
LNG gas terminal. Photo via Wikipedia.
Italy used to be heavily dependent on Russian gas, but now it mainly buys from North Africa and sells the surplus.
Last year, the country consumed 67 billion cubic meters of gas and supplied 4.2 billion cubic meters to Europe, mainly to Austria.
Austria’s oil and gas group, OMV, told Reuters that it had secured additional gas transport capacity for the next few years, but was not negotiating to acquire gas from Africa. Hungary’s government did not respond to Világazdaság‘s question on whether it had opened talks with Italy on gas supplies.
There were also reports of a northern gas supplier for Hungary in early September. As Hungary Today wrote earlier, for the first time, Hungary may be supplied with natural gas from the north due to the construction of a new LNG terminal in Gdansk, Poland. The news of a political agreement reached by the two countries on this matter was announced by Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. As he added, Hungary has already done a lot to be able to source gas from as many places as possible such as Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Qatar, as this is what the government means by diversification, not by replacing one existing source with another.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured image via Pixabay