Eni and Snam Collaborate on Italy's First Carbon Storage Hub
Posted 04/09/2023 12:23
Eni, an energy group, and Snam, a gas grid operator, have emphasized the critical role of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in sustaining and enhancing the competitiveness of key Italian industries like steel, cement, and chemicals. The two companies have been working together to establish Italy's first CCS project offshore from Ravenna, with ambitious plans for a CCS hub in the Adriatic Sea.
The envisioned hub is designed to store approximately 16 million standard tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, representing nearly half of the net yearly emissions from Italy's most carbon-intensive sectors. This project has the potential to facilitate the decarbonization of gas-fired power plants and enable the production of low-emission hydrogen, aligning with energy transition goals.
CCS technology is capable of capturing CO2 from industrial processes or point sources and storing it underground, a vital approach according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) for achieving global climate objectives. However, critics raise concerns about its potential to prolong fossil fuel usage and its commercial viability.
A study conducted by think-tank The European House - Ambrosetti, in collaboration with Eni and Snam, estimates that the CCS hub they are establishing could store around 300 million tons of CO2 by 2050. This initiative aims to support industrial sectors that contribute €62.5 billion ($67.8 billion) in value added and sustain approximately 1.27 million jobs in Italy.
The first CCS hub has the potential to position Italy as a pivotal player in carbon storage within southern Europe. Eni and Snam have called on the government to define a competitive framework that can attract investments and foster the growth of this vital industry.
Stefano Venier, CEO of Snam, noted that several high-emission companies around the French city of Marseille have expressed interest in the project. Additionally, Italy has the opportunity to repurpose several depleted reservoirs in the Mediterranean Sea, further expanding the nation's carbon storage capacity beyond the Ravenna hub.
Eni's Chief Operating Officer for Natural Resources, Guido Brusco, expressed the company's intent to leverage its expertise to reconvert existing infrastructure and production districts into carbon dioxide storage hubs, emphasizing their commitment to advancing CCS technology and sustainability in Italy's industrial landscape.