Italy’s 2023 gas consumption drops to 8-year low, GME says

MILAN (Reuters) – Natural gas consumption in Italy last year dropped to its lowest since 2015, the operator of power exchange GME said on Wednesday.

Consumption was equal to 63 billion cubic metres (bcm), down 8.4% from 2022 when fuel demand in the country had already reported an annual decline, the GME said.

The fall in 2023 consumption is the result of a 16% yearly drop in gas-fired power generation along with a 7.4% decline in gas consumed by businesses and households and a 4% decrease in fuel for the industrial sector.

Gas imports to Italy dropped by nearly 12% to 60.6 bcm, their lowest since 2015, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) playing a growing role in the country as it moves to gradually replace Russian gas that used to come via pipeline.

Fuel coming from Russia via pipeline accounted for 4% of total imports last year with gas from Algeria slightly down compared with 2022 but still representing the biggest single source of import for Italy.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Christina Fincher)