© Reuters. Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Italian energy company Eni, during a visit to Cyprus in 2018 (Reuters Photo)
MILAN, Italy (Reuters) – Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Italian energy company Eni, told several Italian newspapers that his country could significantly increase its gas imports from Africa and move some supplies to northern Europe if it boosts its infrastructure in the next few years.
Descalzi added from Algiers, where he traveled with Italian Prime Minister Giorga Meloni, that Rome can already count on many transport links linking it to Africa, including the Transmed pipeline linking Algeria with Sicily.
“We are the only ones who have a line linking them to Algeria… It has a capacity of about 36 billion cubic meters of gas that is still untapped. There are still more than ten billion cubic meters that can reach Italy,” he added to the Italian daily “Al-Messaggero”.
And Algeria emerged last year as the largest supplier of gas to Italy, to compensate for a large part of the 29 billion cubic meters of gas that it had previously come from Russia.
In addition to the Transmed line, Rome can also count on a pipeline from Libya and liquefied imports from Angola, the Republic of the Congo and Mozambique.
Descalzi told the newspaper, “We have a line that connects to Libya, the capacity of which now ranges between 12 and 14 billion cubic meters, and it can be increased by a few billion using the appropriate pressure.”--
Italy is also working to double the capacity of the pipeline (TADAWUL:) across the Adriatic Sea to 20 billion cubic meters to transport Azerbaijani gas to Puglia in the southeast of the country.-
Rome is looking to assume the role of a supply hub between Africa and northern Europe in the coming years to help offset the loss of imports from Russia.
“Our goal is to achieve a surplus of gas supplies so that we can supply energy to northern Europe,” said Eni’s chief executive. He added that Italy needed to expand its domestic gas network and also develop energy corridors to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In 2021, Italy consumed about 75 billion cubic meters of gas, 38 percent of which came from Russia. Italy plans to rely on other supplies to fully replace Russian gas by the end of 2024.
Eni signed two agreements with Algeria’s Sonatrach on Monday to limit and study joint projects to improve Algeria’s ability to export energy to Europe.
(Prepared by Muhammad Harfush and Muhammad Aysam for the Arabic Bulletin – Muhammad Muhammadin)