Snam CEO says Piombino FSRU terminal on track to start operations in May

Italy’s Snam is still expecting to launch the FSRU-based LNG import terminal in the port of Piombino in May, according to the company’s chief executive Stefano Venier.

Venier said during Snam’s 2022 results conference call on Thursday that the Piombino FSRU “will start operations as planned in May.”

He expects the FSRU to arrive in Piombino in the “next few days.”

Snam purchased the FSRU Golar Tundra from Golar LNG last year for $350 million as part of Italy’s plans to replace Russian pipeline gas and strengthen energy security.

It previously said that it expects the Piombino FSRU-based terminal to reach commercial operation in May 2023.

The 170,000-cbm vessel Golar Tundra can operate both as an LNG carrier and as an FSRU, and it has a continuous regasification capacity of 5 billion cubic meters per year.

LNG Prime reported on February 21 that the FSRU departed Keppel’s yard in Singapore.

Lithuania’s LNG terminal operator KN also won a contract from Snam to help with the launch of the FSRU-based LNG import terminal.

The FSRU is nearing Italy and left Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday, according to its AIS data.

This facility will be the fourth large LNG terminal in Italy and the second FSRU-based facility.

Last year, Snam also bought one FSRU from BW and signed a deal to convert LNG carrier Golar Arctic into an FSRU.

Snam plans to employ the 2015-built FSRU BW Singapore to serve the facility off Ravenna.

The company owns the Panigaglia facility and has stakes in the FSRU Toscana and the Adriatic LNG import terminal.

According to Snam, these facilities regasified 14.2 bcm of LNG last year, a 45.5 percent rise when compared to the year before.

During the call, Venier was also asked to comment on the recent reports saying that ExxonMobil is looking to sell its stake in the Adriatic LNG terminal.

ExxonMobil has a 70.7 percent stake in Adriatic LNG, while QatarEnergy holds 22 percent and Snam owns 7.3 percent.

Venier declined to comment on media reports, but said that Snam may look into increasing its share in Adriatic LNG if ExxonMobil decides to sell its stake.

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