Europe needs “whatever it takes” for gas storage, says the Italian gas CEO

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The logo of the Italian gas group Snam can be seen outside their office in Rome, Italy on June 4, 2020. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane

Milan, October 19 (Reuters) – Europe needs to set up a regulated gas bank that uses existing unused storage to solve its gas problems, the head of Europe’s largest gas transmission network said Tuesday.

“We need a kind of ‘whatever it takes’ of gas to store strategic reserves,” said Marco Alvera, CEO of the Italian gas infrastructure group Snam (SRG.MI), at a conference on the energy transition.

Alvera was referring to the speech given by former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in 2012, in which he said the bank would do everything possible to save the euro.

Snam (SRG.MI) operates most of Italy’s gas storage capacity as a regulated company.

Record high electricity and gas prices have boosted energy bills for industry and consumers, prompting some EU countries to take immediate action, including energy tax cuts and subsidies.

Last week the European Commission outlined measures to combat the rise in prices and examined the potential for joint purchases of strategic gas reserves. Continue reading

Alvera said a European storage system operated by an independent consortium rather than dealers would not require large investments as it could take advantage of idle capacity in countries like Holland, Germany and Austria where storage capacity is low. He said that Ukraine has enormous storage capacity that is empty.

“Europe is in a bad position, Northern Europe is in a very bad position,” he said, adding that Britain in particular could get into trouble if it has a particularly cold winter because it has no strategic storage facilities and Europe is modulating gas supplies .

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes Editing by David Goodman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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