Gas pipelines, the Sulmona “funnel” and the risks for the industries of the North- Corriere.it

The objective can no longer be postponed: to reverse the prevailing direction of gas flows in the country. By overturning the boot, from south to north. If Moscow is now closing the taps from the entry point of Tarvisio, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, it has become necessary rethink Snam’s current distribution network building three new sections of methane pipelines on the Adriatic line and a new compression station on the Abruzzo Apennines, in a new strategic junction for our energy independence identified in Sulmona, where Snam’s pipeline infrastructure currently stops without going any further. A Copernican revolution that changes our model by ushering in the era of reverse flowthe reverse flows towards the North, including Northern Europe.

With the breakdown of relations with Russia, the leading supplier of methane in 2021 with 29 billion cubic meters (38% of our needs), the outgoing government was forced to sign a series of agreements with other countries to diversify supplies. By giving Algeria and Azerbaijan an indisputable centrality in suppliesstrengthening the flows from Mazara del Vallo (gas inlet from Algiers) and from Melendugno, in Puglia, inlet of Azerbaijani methane through the Tap.
However, the network must inevitably be revisedbecause the particular manufacturing conformation of the country unbalances the demand for gas towards the North – in the lead in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna – for the needs of large energy-intensive factories hungry for methane and electricity, the latter transformed by gas-fired thermoelectric plants , a raw material that accounts for almost 50% of our energy mix.

So one of the the first measures to be taken by the new government which will take office in Palazzo Chigi to give the green light to the Sulmona compressor station, which serves to push the gas arriving in Melendugno northwards, thus compensating for Russian supplies which are gradually reducing to zero, as announced yesterday by Gazprom and Eni. This plant alone is worth an investment of 180 million, it had the go-ahead for the environmental impact assessment back in 2018 but remained in the queue because the priorities were other. Now we need the government’s latest feasibility assessment after the disputed approval process of four regions – Abruzzo, Lazio, Umbria and Marche – which have placed some restrictions on the construction of the sections, conditioned by the local committees concerned by the social, environmental and seismic repercussions.
The manager Snam has planned to spend two billion by anticipating the construction of the entire infrastructure to 2027, originally planned for 2030, precisely because of the new challenges imposed by geopolitics.

They must be hooked to the compression unit three gas pipelines with a total length of 443 kilometers: the Sulmona-Foligno section, pending the subsequent authorization steps of the Ministry of Ecological Transition; that Foligno-Sestino which lacks the approval of the same dicastery; and the Sestino-Minerbio section, whose construction authorization has been issued. The project would help increase transportation capacity by around 10 billion cubic meters per year. Flows that are not univocally attributable to Tap and Transmed, but potentially also coming from the other entry points of the Center-South or from any new import projects.
The theme is closely linked to the positioning of the regasifiers
: it is urgent to install them by the end of March in Piombino and by the end of 2023 in Ravenna. If we had the Adriatic line fully up and running, nothing would prevent us from doing so also in the South, but at the moment it would be useless.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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