Italy risks gas shortage without new LNG terminal, Eni CEO says

Eni CEO Descalzi speaks during the "Rome 2015 MED, Mediterranean dialogues" forum in Rome
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi speaks during the "Rome 2015 MED, Mediterranean dialogues" forum in Rome, Italy, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

MILAN, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Italy could face a gas shortfall of 5-6 billion cubic meters in the winter of 2023-24 without a new regasification terminal, the CEO of energy major Eni (ENI.MI) Claudio Descalzi said on Tuesday.

Italy plans to set up a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the city of Piombino, in Tuscany, based on a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), which should be operational by the end of March next year to increase supply and make up for a shortfall of Russian imports.

The infrastructure, operated by gas grid operator Snam (SRG.MI), needs to get a green light by the end of October to add to the country's LNG capacity in early 2023.

"We absolutely need a new LNG terminal, otherwise accounts do not add up," Descalzi said during an energy conference.

"We might be short of 5-6 billion cubic meters in winter 2023-2024."

The CEO added gas imports from Algeria were vital for Italy, as they were replacing supplies from Russia.

He said gas imports from Algeria would cover 38% of Italy's needs next year, compared to 12% before the Ukraine crisis.

"Algeria will reach 27 billion cubic meters next year, while Russia earlier accounted for 29 billion cubic meters. It's crucial that Algeria goes on like that. We travel there every 10 days to make sure that everything is fine," Descalzi said.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari Editing by Mark Potter

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