Italy ‘s plan to replace Russian gas imports will happen in three years.

Italy ‘s Minister for Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, declared at a conference that the country is estimating a term of at least three years to replace Russian gas. He stated it the past Wednesday and added that they meant to replace the Russian gas among other energy sources. 

The road to gas independence

Only Rome imports 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Russia every year, more or less. It’s about 40% of their total gas imports. But they keep partial and looking for new alternatives due to the attack from Moscow on Ukraine.    

Since the first attack to invade Ukraine, Italy has put many efforts into securing alternative gas sources, with LNG-rich Qatar a particular point of attention.   

Cingolani expressed to the upper house Senate that the compilation of the independence from Russian gas was “possible over a minimum time horizon of three years.”

He also affirms that 20 bcm per year could be replaced in the “near to medium term.” For that to happen, some measures must be taken, as the raisin gas imports from Algeria by nine bcm. Also, it is necessary to raise coal and oil-fueled power production to replace 3-4 bcm of gas. 

This country uses other measures like the increased use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) up to 6 bcm. Also, the increased power imports from northern Europe. 

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Something playing against Italy in this journey is their complex permitting process. It has virtually stopped the development of LNG facilities. It means they have just three plants currently working, which means only the 20% of dairy imports. 

Cingolani also talked about the floating LNG terminals (FSRU) and mentioned that those could be installed in 12-14 months after having the permits. That would allow providing 16-24 bcm of gas. Also, another two on-shore terminals with a capacity of 20 bcm. After having the permissions, it could take from 3-4 years. “To do this, we are checking the status of the permits,” he said.

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