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Port of Gioia Tauro is a possible site for LNG regasification terminal

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Gioia Tauro, Italy (Ports Europe) April 11, 2024 – The Port of Gioia Tauro has been suggested as a potential site for a regasification terminal. The driver is to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from various countries to reduce any dependence of Russian energy imports.

Presadiretta, an investigative television programme, has examined this issue and highlighted some concerns.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 22, 2022, led to European Union sanctions against Moscow and an EU policy to end the import of Russian energy.

The plan – LNG regasification terminal

One part of the policy is to build regasification terminals. Located at ports, supplier vessels would deliver LNG to newly built regasifier terminals. LNG is then converted into gas and injected into national gas distribution networks. The infrastructure is expensive and takes a lot of time. The Port of Gioia Tauro is a proposed location.

The proposed 47-hectare site in the territories of San Ferdinando and Rosarno would need to be expropriated (currently citrus orchards). The president of the Calabria Region, Roberto Occhiuto, supports the plan, while environmentalist associations, such as Legambiente, oppose it due to the possible risks. These include the dangers of gas leaks, accidents, seismic activity and emissions of polluting substances, to the detriment of residents, tourism and the landscape.

Mixed opinions

Opponents also support an energy solution which is sustainable and based on green energy, such as sun, wind, electrolysers and green hydrogen.

The mayor of San Ferdinando, Gianluca Gaetano, emphasises that any new plant should support other port activities. For example, a regasification requires low temperatures which could also support reefer activities, negating a separate financial investment.

In March 2022, Italian energy companies Sorgenia and Iren told the Reuters news agency that are ready to build an LNG terminal in Gioia Tauro. It would be big enough to cover almost half of gas imports from Russia.

The terminal could process 12 billion cubic metres (bcm) of LNG annually. In 2021, Italy imported 29 bcm of gas from Russia.

Pino Romeo, urban planner and member of the Comitato No Rigass, expressed his concerns and questioned the demand trend for such large volumes of gas. He added that any new government could end the project before completion.

Ports Europe will continue to monitor developments.

More Ports Europe news about the LNG around the region

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