Italian gas distributor investing in green alternatives
Italy’s largest gas distributor, Italgas, said June 15 that much of its new investment programme would target biomethane and green hydrogen.
The company outlined a strategic growth plan through 2027 that envisions €7.9bn in investments, an increase of €400mn from that outlined in its previous plan in October 2020. The 2021-27 plan rest on five pillars: digital transformation, repurposing its infrastructure to support renewable natural gases, new growth opportunities in water, energy efficiency and IT services, retooling its workforce and returning value to shareholders.
CEO Paolo Gallo said, without providing specifics, that the largest amount of the investment would be in repurposing its infrastructure as well as the development of biomethane and other renewable gases such as green hydrogen.
Networks on the island of Sardinia, he added, are already the most advanced in Italy.
“On the island, we have met the challenge of starting to distribute methane in just over two years, and we are close to completing the construction of 1,100 kilometers of digital native grids which will be suitable for receiving green hydrogen blending, produced by our power-to-gas plant in the province of Cagliari,” he said.
Italy is making strides in the energy transition with its use of hydrogen. The first-ever test of mixing hydrogen with natural gas in the industrial steel sector was accomplished at a plant in Milan last month.
A trial project that utilised a 30% natural gas/hydrogen blend successfully heated the furnaces at the Forgiatura A. Vienna steelmaking plant in the province of Milan.
Sapio, an Italian company supplying industrial and medical gases, delivered the mixed fuel for the trial.