Snam and BHGE, working together with micro-liquefaction
Snam and BHGE (Baker Hughes, a GE company) have recently signed an agreement for new plants for micro-liquefaction of LNG and bio-LNG in Italy. Under the aegis of sustainable mobility, on the 28th of May, the two companies reached an agreement to promote the expansion of these markets. LNG is an immediately available solution to eliminate fine dust and reduce CO2 emissions. The main target of the agreement is the heavy road transport sector, but also the promotion within the Italian sea transport field.
Four new plants for Italy
By the end of 2018, Snam and BHGE will study the strategy for the construction of four new plants distributed throughout Italy. They would be the first micro-LNG plants in Italy and among the first in Europe to use the micro-liquefaction technique. The dimensions will be comparable to those of a football field. The presence of LNG in the heavy transport sector is increasing rapidly. In Italy alone, LNG vehicles have increased since 2015 from less than 100 units to around 1,000. In parallel, the number of refueling stations increased to 20. For the next few years, a further growth of up to 15,000 units is expected.
At full capacity, the four plants will have a total annual production of around 140,000 tonnes of LNG or bio-LNG. In the case of the latter, it is liquid biomethane, obtained from the organic fraction of municipal waste or biomass. These last would, instead, mainly come from agriculture and agro-industry. The goal is to consolidate Italian production of renewable gas with zero CO2 emissions. In economic terms, if the study is successful, there would therefore be a potential total investment of around € 50-80 million over the next few years. The agreement could also mean the opportunity to develop further micro-liquefaction infrastructures in Italy and abroad.
The agreement in the words of Snam and BHGE CEOs
«With this agreement, we strengthen our commitment to increase the diffusion of sustainable mobility and to decarbonize the entire heavy transport sector in Italy», commented Snam’s CEO Marco Alverà. «Our goal is to make a decisive contribution to the affirmation of a new concept of renewable mobility thanks to biomethane and bio-LNG. The entry into the micro-LNG segment, able to bring both natural gas and biomethane to the liquid state, leverages Snam’s European leadership in infrastructures and its presence in the mobility sector. This will stimulate global consumption growth. We are ready to bring our skills abroad too».
Lorenzo Simonelli, President, and CEO of BHGE, also commented on the agreement. «Energy sources with reduced CO2 emissions will play a major role in enabling a smooth transition. The destination is a more sustainable energy mix. This agreement is a further demonstration of the validity of the technological solutions and full-stream services that BHGE can offer. But it also demonstrates the company’s experience in the micro-LNG sector. In close cooperation with Snam, we will work on developing solutions to reduce emissions. We want to support the sustainability of the heavy transport sector. Our thirty-year experience allows us to provide a wide range of skills, low-consumption technology, and industry-leading systems, with the aim of encouraging increased productivity and a significant reduction in pollutant emissions».