Gas supplies at risk
In response to a statement made in recent days by Eni’s managing director Paolo Scaroni regarding the possibility of cutting off gas supplies to industrial users, the Chairman of Gas Intensive, a consortium of around three hundred intense gas consumer companies, made the following comment on the proposed measure and the consequences that it would have for Italian companies: “To our knowledge, the conditions do not justify cutting off gas supplies to businesses as an initial step. We believe – as proposed by the Minister of Economic Development Corrado Passera and Confindustria chairman Emma Marcegaglia – that it would be preferable to make use of available reserves and to seek to optimise management of the available infrastructures, a particularly important issue given that it is being discussed as part of the Liberalisation Decree. Italian industry is already under enormous pressure due to freight transport disputes, the severe weather conditions, the orders issued by the prefects to suspend commercial transport and difficulties in procuring raw materials.
“It is inconceivable to think of cutting off gas supplies without first thoroughly assessing the possibility of responding to the emergency by using the reserves available in storage facilities and in the pipelines, which when full and completely utilised also have a gas storage capacity,” continued Culicchi.
“Choosing to cut off supplies when not absolutely necessary simply means passing on to Italian industry the costs of a problem that can be resolved upstream through careful management of supplies, import infrastructures and storage facilities,” the Chairman of Gas Intensive concluded. “The lower price of gas in Europe compared to Italy in recent months should have been exploited to fill storage facilities, including those of companies granted space by the Storage Decree. Instead our companies have experienced difficulties that have thwarted the measures prepared by the Ministry. Why has this happened? Gas Intensive had already drawn attention to these issues in recent months.”