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Infrastructures for Gas Imports in Italy: Rating Methodology & Evolution (2009-2014)

By early 2000’s, due to a number of factors – among which a strong growth in gas demand, especially from the powergen sector, a structural dependency from import, storage constraints (both on capacity and on allocation procedures) and, more generally, a very limited flexibility, especially for peak supply – in Italy a particular interest has developed for building additional gas import capacity, both as expansion of the existing infrastructures and as realization of new ones.

As a result, in a few years a lot of projects (7 pipelines and 15 LNG terminals) have been subjected to feasibility studies and in many cases to the authorization procedures. In the second half of 2000’s, the projected additional capacity amounted to about 140 bcm, of which 21% pipeline and 79% LNG capacity. Even without the subsequent economic crisis, which has dramatically pull down gas demand – and in particular powergen sector gas demand, also displaced by the strong rise of renewables – it was self evident that there wouldn’t be room for all of that capacity and, above all, that not all the capacity would have the same chance to be realized.

 Therefore, starting from 2008 NE Nomisma Energia publishes every 2 months a rating of the probability of additional import capacity realization, as an useful tool for stakeholders (proposing companies, banks, funders, policy makers, operators of the gas sector, large end users) in order to assess the economic and strategic potential of a project.

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