Snam, Eni’s carbon capture hub can serve also southern Europe

RAVENNA, Italy (Reuters) – A project by Italian gas grid Snam and energy group Eni to capture carbon dioxide and store it in depleted gas fields can help decarbonise businesses both in Italy and in southern European industries, Snam CEO Stefano Venier said.

Speaking in the Italian city of Ravenna where the new carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub will be based, Venier said the French high-polluting groups – like cement and steel makers – could find it more convenient to store their carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Italian hub than transport it to Norway where there are some CCS sites already functioning.

Snam and Eni aim to launch the first phase of their CCS hub at the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025 to store 25,000 tons of CO2 a year in depleted gas fields offshore Ravenna. The capacity will then expanded gradually to accommodate emissions from both Italian and foreign high polluters.

Some environmentalists have questioned the effectiveness of CCS in combating climate change and preventing disasters. The Center for International and Environmental Law and over 500 organizations called on policymakers to reject the method, citing potential dangers, including health, safety and environmental risks.

Speaking with journalists at the sidelines of the conference in Ravenna, Venier said that Italy had been patrolling its gas infrastructures to prevent potential sabotages for some time and no additional measures had been taken due to unrest in the Middle East.

“In Italy we follow all the procedures for strategic infrastructures that are dictated by the relevant governmental structures… for example, patrolling activities had been in place for some times,” Snam CEO said.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Aurora Ellis)