Snam, one of the world's leading energy infrastructure operators, and SIAD, a leading chemical group in the production and supply of industrial gases and in the Engineering, Healthcare, LPG and Natural Gas sectors, have signed a framework agreement to start a technological collaboration in the small-scale and mid-scale liquefaction sector. The aim of the agreement is to foster the use of LNG and Bio-LNG as alternative fuels for sustainable mobility and other end uses.
The agreement, signed by the CEO of Snam, Marco Alverà, and the Chair of SIAD, Roberto Sestini, aims to build small- and medium-sized plants for the liquefaction of natural gas and biomethane on a global scale, on behalf of third-party customers.
The plants proposed by Snam and SIAD will be modular and standardised, with capacities ranging from 50 ktpa (kilo-tonnes per year) to 100 ktpa in the case of small-scale plants and from 200 ktpa upwards for mid-scale plants.
Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, said: "With this agreement, Snam is entering the liquefaction infrastructure sector, which will be key to enable sustainable mobility by road, rail and potentially sea, as well as decarbonising other energy uses. LNG, especially in its 'bio' version, makes it possible to reduce both polluting and CO2 emissions, making a decisive contribution to air quality and the fight against climate change, and to boosting the circular economy, optimising the management of the waste cycle and agricultural and food waste. Thanks to this collaboration with SIAD, we will make an innovative energy transition solution available to both Italy and other countries".
Roberto Sestini, Chair of SIAD, said: "This important agreement reached with Snam for the development of methane and biomethane liquefaction plants was also made possible thanks to the expertise and technical experience of the SIAD Group. More than 500 plants have been built and installed in different parts of the world for the production of oxygen, nitrogen and argon, which all require the liquefaction of air. Based on this technological knowledge, it has been possible to design different sizes of methane liquefaction plants with efficient energy consumption and cost savings".
The plants designed by Snam and SIAD use Italian technology, based on an energy-optimised cryogenic nitrogen cycle through the use of two machines (expanders/compressors). These plants allow methane to be transformed from a gas to a liquid state and represent an ideal solution to enable energy transition on global markets thanks to their price competitiveness. The savings compared to a traditional solution can be as much as 30% of the cost of the plant.
As part of the collaboration between Snam and SIAD, a project will be launched in Campania in 2021, with a capacity of 50 ktpa (small-scale), which has already obtained European funding. The plants, which will be operated by Snam, will also ensure the security of LNG and Bio-LNG supply to other regions of Southern Italy, shortening the chain between supply and end users and serving a rapidly growing market. LNG trucks have registered quite an increase in Italy in the last five years from fewer than 100 to about 3,000 units and there are now around 90 filling stations.
Thanks to their versatility, liquefaction plants, in addition to fuelling sustainable mobility, will also be functional for other uses, such as converting power generation from diesel to natural gas and some energy-intensive industrial processes.
This agreement is likely subject to subsequent binding agreements that the parties will define in compliance with the applicable regulatory profiles.