• The Depositi Italiani GNL (DIG) terminal, with the capacity to move over 1 million cubic metres of LNG annually, will be able refuel up to 12,000 trucks and 48 ferries per year, making it possible, over the course of the terminal’s life, to avoid roughly 6,000,000 tons of CO2 and to eliminate the particulates and sulphur oxide otherwise emitted by these vehicles.
• With the start-up of operations at DIG terminal in the Ravenna port, Edison has completed and launched the first integrated logistics chain for the supply and sale of liquefied natural gas in Italy.
La Petrolifera Italo Rumena (PIR), Edison and Enagás announce that Depositi Italiani GNL (DIG) has begun operating the small scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Ravenna for the sustainability of heavy road and sea transport. With the roll-out of the DIG terminal - PIR owns 51%, Edison 30% and Scale Gas Solutions, subsidiary of Enagás, 19% – Italy will enjoy a steady and secure supply of LNG for transport: a solid, available solution to immediately help decarbonise the transport sector. The European Directive on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (DAFI) encourages the use of LNG for heavy transport, and Italy has committed (Legislative Decree 257 of 16 December 2016) to covering 50% of sea transport and 30% of road transport with LNG by 2030, creating a supply infrastructure along the trans-European transport network TEN-T (Ten-T). In this way Ravenna becomes the first Italian port of the TEN-T to equip itself with an infrastructure for LNG. A commitment relaunched by the Country with the investments provided by the Complementary Fund of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to support the renewal of naval fleets and the implementation of the use of liquefied natural gas for maritime transport.
Built with an investment of roughly €100 million in the area, the terminal has LNG storage capacity of 20,000 cubic metres and the capacity to move over 1 million cubic metres of liquid gas each year, making enough LNG available to fuel at least 12,000 trucks and up to 48 ferries per year. Over the course of its operating life, estimated to be 25 years, the terminal will prevent the emission of 6 million tons of CO2 and eliminate particulates and sulphur oxide emissions.
“We are proud to announce the inauguration of a new, highly strategic infrastructure for our country today, in line with the strategy to fight climate change. LNG plays a key role in the energy transition, as it enables us to immediately begin decarbonising sea and heavy transport, where other solutions and technologies are not feasible on a large scale, except in the long term,” said Nicola Monti, Chief Executive Officer of Edison. “Thanks to this new infrastructure, Edison’s unique position in Italy as a long-term LNG importer and the availability of a small scale natural gas tank ship, we are opening a new secure and competitive procurement channel that reduces dependency on imports via petrol trucks from abroad and may encourage the widespread adoption of LNG in transport, even in areas of Italy where it is not currently accessible or cost effective.”
“We are satisfied to have reached this ambitious goal in the realization of the first strategic LNG infrastructure in Italy and particularly in the port of Ravenna, which is the historical base of our Group, and to have undertaken this economic adventure with major partners such as Edison and Scale Gas Solutions of Enagás Group - Guido Ottolenghi, Chief Executive Officer of PIR, comments -. The DIG deposit is the first concrete step towards the energy transition of the country”.
“Enagas' participation in this Ravenna infrastructure is the result of years of cooperation between Italy and Spain’s energy companies of which we are proud of. This new terminal, which has started refueling from the Barcelona LNG infrastructure, will reinforce the LNG supply chain in the Mediterranean Sea and contribute to the promotion and use of this alternative fuel in transport. This strategic milestone is totally aligned with Enagás decarbonisation strategy and will also allow to reach EU transport decarbonisation targets”, said Marcelino Oreja, Chief Executive Officer of Enagás.
Depositi Italiani GNL is the company that as of today formally takes over management of the small scale terminal’s operations in the Corsini port of Ravenna. Edison will handle the terminal’s procurement using the Ravenna Knutsen, one of the world’s first small scale natural gas tank ships (30,000 cubic metres). Boasting excellent operational flexibility, it was built for Edison’s exclusive use by the Norwegian shipbuilder Knutsen OAS Shipping at the Hyundai Heavy Industries dockyard in Mipo, South Korea. The terminal’s storage capacity will be sold to third parties, with 15% to be sold by DIG and 85% to be sold to end users by Edison as an integrated operator along the entire chain, from LNG procurement to its distribution and sale to refuelling stations. In this way, Edison completes the first integrated logistics chain in Italy, ensuring stable and competitive supplies of the country’s LNG.
The construction of the small scale terminal was entrusted to Edison’s engineering department, which, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, delivered the plant within 28 months, according to schedule. The construction involved 60 local supplier companies, over 200 workers and 80 engineers who designed and supervised the execution of all the terminal’s elements. 30,000 cubic metres of concrete and 600 tons of steel were used, while the land was reinforced with 2,200 gravel agglomerate piles and 180 reinforced concrete piles measuring over one metre in diameter and 45 metres in depth. Enagás supported Edison with the commissioning for the beginning of operation of the terminal.
The Italian LNG market for road transport presents significant potential for development, with growth trends destined to speed up thanks in part to the construction of new infrastructures. In 2020, 2,904 LNG-fuelled vehicles (2,852 trucks and 52 buses) were in use in Italy, an increase of around 40% on 2019. Moreover, 41 new LNG buses were registered in 2020, confirming the expansion trend of LNG vehicles in the local public transport sector as well. According to Italian Transport Ministry data processed by ANFIA, the Italian automotive chain association, 635 new LNG trucks were registered in the first half of 2021 (+86.8% on the 340 new registrations of one year earlier). The country currently has around 3,500 LNG trucks and 104 LNG refuelling stations (compared to a mere six in 2016).
As for sea transport, the number of ships running on LNG has grown continuously from 2010 to date at a rate of +20% to +40% per year, and there are currently orders in place for around another 84 LNG ships. This acceleration is partly due to the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation of 2020, which sets limits on the sulphur content in marine fuel ranging from 3.5% for traditional fuels to 0.5% for specific Sulphur Emission Controlled Areas (SECAs). Another boost in new orders for LNG ships is expected to come from the cruise industry, the Mediterranean Sea being one of its most important markets, second only to the Caribbean.