Efforts to develop LNG for the transport sector in Italy may have gained traction north of Rome, but progress in the country’s poverty-stricken south remains painfully slow.
Hopes were high that Eni’s redevelopment of its Gela refinery in Sicily would bring LNG bunkering facilities that could spur the rollout of more LNG filling stations across the region. But despite undertaking a feasibility study into the project in September – which, according to local Deputy Mayor Simone Siciliano, ended 2016 “with a positive outcome” – construction remains some way off.
However, Siciliano is confident the project will go ahead. He said Eni is due to meet representatives from Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and the municipality of Gela as well as various stakeholders from the maritime sector and associations of fuel distributors and carriers in the next few days. Eni is expected to mark the occasion by signing agreements to secure demand for LNG in the area before starting the authorisation process for the hub, Siciliano said.
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