Piombino, the regasification terminal will be in port in the next few hours: operational in mid-May

Piombino, the regasification terminal will be in port in the next few hours: operational in mid-May

The Golar Tundra regasifier ship, purchased by Snam on the instructions of the Draghi Government to deal with the cut in gas supplies from Russia, will arrive tomorrow evening, Sunday 19 March, in the port of Piombino, where according to the agreements it will remain moored for three years. She comes from Singapore, where she was technologically adapted and repainted in electric blue and tomato red to mitigate the environmental impact, as requested by the Superintendence.

The size of the vessel

The ship, 293 meters long and 47 meters wide, will be able to begin maneuvering operations in the port after the departure of the last ferry to Elba, at 10.30 pm, and will dock at the east quay of the north dock within the following two hours. In this period of time, the Tuscan port will remain closed to navigation, not so much due to the nature of the ship (which is currently without gas), they explain to the Port Authority of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, but because it is a 300-metre-long vessel . It will take a few more weeks to start up the regasification business. The construction works of the pipeline that will connect the ship to the national gas network are in the final stage: the fact that the length of the pipe is (only) 8.8 kilometers is one of the reasons that directed the Government's choice towards the Piombino solution . About 400 people are currently working on the site. In the first half of April it is expected that the pipeline will be coupled to the ship, while in the second half of the month the hydraulic tests will be carried out in preparation for entry into operation.

Filling the tanks

The next step will be the filling of the regasifier tanks, which can contain 170,000 cubic meters of liquid gas, to be carried out with methane tankers which, according to what is indicated by the provisions of the services conference, will have to arrive at the port at night (one is week) and will have to be powered by gas (to pollute less). On 10 March Snam launched the auction to purchase a load of approximately 165-170 thousand cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the outcome is expected on 28 March. The arrival of the cargo is expected in the window from 27 April to 16 June, but it is assumed that as early as mid-May the Golar Tundra will be able to begin regasification activities, authorized for five billion cubic meters of gas per year . Snam's total investment, including work to be carried out in the port and commissioning of the plant, will reach approximately 450 million, of which 330 million will be spent on the purchase of the vessel.

The reactions and the future destination

The arrival in port of the Golar Tundra leads us to expect new protests by citizens' committees, environmentalists and transversal political forces, opposed to the installation of the Golar Tundra for environmental and safety reasons. The mayor of Piombino, Francesco Ferrari (Brothers of Italy), also remains against it, who after having lodged an appeal with the Tar to ask for the annulment of the order that authorized the installation of the ship in the port, awaits the hearing on the merits ( the suspension was denied) postponed from 8 March to 5 July next. By that date, it is now clear, the ship will have already come into operation to deal with the national energy emergency.

In the coming days (by 24 March), Snam will instead have to indicate - as per agreements with Eugenio Giani, president of the Tuscany Region and commissioner for the regasification terminal - the final destination of the Golar Tundra, after the three-year stay in the port of Piombino. Giani himself anticipated that it will most likely be in the Adriatic Sea, so much so that many have thought of joining the offshore regasification ship that will be positioned off the coast of Ravenna. The compensations to which the Piombino area should be entitled, which President Giani had brought together in a ten-point Memorandum presented to the Government, still need to be implemented: from discounts on bills for citizens to money for reclamation of the steelworks area, up to renewable energy plants.

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