LNG: a lifeline from the gas crisis?

LNG: a lifeline from the gas crisis?
LNG: a lifeline from the gas crisis?
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The Italians are worried about the possible shortage of gas in the event of a late winter cuts in supplies to Europe by Moscow. Italians will have to cope with this worsening of economic conditions both on economic plan, which practical. If the European institutions fail to promptly adopt emergency measures, it will be necessary to ration storage and survive the winter with small sacrifices, such as the already announced lowering of one degree and one hour per day of heating in homes, offices. , factories. But also be careful to keep fewer lights on and take showers that are not too long.

Europe is already working on the energy plan. Having reached the goal of filling the stocks, eyes are on the September 9, when the next European summit will meet in Prague, where the ministers of the 27 will have to find an agreement on the gas price ceiling. The President of the EU Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen he specified earlier this week that ministers will also discuss a new market model for electricity. The intention is to decouple the price of electricity from that of gas.

The measures being studied in Italy to deal with the gas crisis

Also in Italy the Government is working on the new aid decree: studying direct aid for gas-intensive companies and for low-income families; the strengthening of tax credits for all companies; the shutdown of shop signs after 11pm and the reduction of public lighting by up to 40%; a seven-day delay in switching on the heaters in autumn and an earlier switch-off, again by seven days, in spring. Indeed, the possibility of triggering is being evaluated at least two months of smart working for all employees of the Public Administration in the event of a maximum emergency.

LNG: what is it?

In the meantime, the beautiful country will have to accelerate the search for alternative energy sources to replace ties with Russia. Among these is the LNGthat is the liquefied natural gas, produced by cooling natural gas to a temperature below its boiling point, of about 162 ° C, which transforms it from a gaseous state to a liquid state. The procedure involves purification and condensation of the extracted gas, until an odorless and colorless liquid is obtained, consisting of 99% methane and small parts of ethane, butane and propane. Considering that, with the gas condensation process, its volume is reduced by 600 times, liquefaction allows a considerable amount of energy to be stored in a much smaller space. This means that it takes 600 liters of methane gas to obtain one liter in liquid form. LNG is also non-flammable, making it much safer than natural gas.

Once delivered to the recipient, the LNG is converted back into the gaseous phase into the so-called industrial regasification plants, which can be both land regasifiers and offshore structures, known as floating storage and regasification units or FSRU (Anglo-Saxon acronym). The procedure takes place simply by increasing the temperature of the LNG, through bundles of pipes and tanks that allow heat exchanges, up to the insertion of natural gas into the distribution network.

A comparison between LNG and gas

While LNG is mainly transported via tankers in cryogenic tanks, natural gas uses i gas pipelines. The price of the two raw materials is also different: LNG has a cost of 20-30% higher than the classic methane gasthe price of which at the time of writing this article is around 238 euros per megawatt hour (Source: TTF).

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Finally, the two commodities differ in geographical origin: the main producers of LNG in the world are the United States, Qatar, Australia, Russia itself, Nigeria and even Malaysia. In Italy, LNG can be regasified in 3 terminals: Panigaglia (Liguria), Porto Viro (Veneto) and Livorno / Pisa (Tuscany). Others could be open within the next 3 years a Piombino, Gioia Tauro and Porto Empedocle.

The main producers of natural gas, on the other hand, are 94, with them in the lead United States, Russia, Iran, Qatar, Canada, China, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Turkmenistan.

Italy can only produce internally just over 5% of natural gas needs; imports the remainder thanks to the plants of Tarvisio (Friuli-Venezia-Giulia) from Russia, of Mazara del Vallo and Gela (Sicily) from Algeria and Libya respectively, of Melendugno (Puglia) from Azerbaijan and from Gries Pass (Piedmont) from Norway and Holland.

The article is in Italian

Tags: LNG lifeline gas crisis

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