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CIB, Confagricoltura, Eni, FPT Industrial, IVECO, New Holland and Snam: agreement for the development of biomethane in the Italian transport sector

Development of biomethane

Rome, 18 April 2019 - CIB – Italian Biogas Consortium, Confagricoltura, Eni, FPT Industrial, IVECO, New Holland Agriculture and Snam today signed a cooperation agreement to support the implementation of the biomethane decree, representing a strong growth opportunity for the country thanks to the energy’s renewable, clean, programmable and flexible properties.

The agreement was signed by Snam CEO Marco Alverà, CIB President Piero Gattoni, Confagricoltura President Massimiliano Giansanti, New Holland Agriculture Brand President and CNH Industrial Italia CEO Carlo Lambro, Eni Portfolio Management & Supply and Licensing Director Giacomo Rispoli, FPT Industrial CEO and Member of the Global Executive Committee of CNH Industrial Annalisa Stupenengo and CNH Industrial Institutional Relations Director Michele Ziosi.

This agricultural and industrial supply chain agreement follows just one year after the decree of March 2, 2018 promoting of the use of biomethane and other advanced biofuels in the transport sector, part of reaching the target on renewable energy in transport to 2020 and already projected in the decarbonisation path as visualised within the Climate-Energy strategy. The latter sets out new objectives for sustainable mobility, with the aim of reaching a renewable quota of 21.6% by 2030, while contributing to the reduction of air pollution and also combating climate change.

In this context, agricultural biomethane, with production currently estimated at 8 billion cubic meters in 2030, plays a key role in achieving the expected 8% target for advanced biofuels while also supporting the gas system, which will play a vital role in the transition of the national energy system.

This will be in accordance with the new EU guidelines to build an increasingly circular economy through the promotion of the use of livestock effluents, residues, by-products of agricultural and agri-food activities and integration crops, both in the production of biomethane and in the subsequent use of digestate in soil fertilization. The aim of this is to enhance organic resources, drive an increasingly competitive business environment and create new jobs in rural areas.

It is no coincidence that the biogas-biomethane supply chain is one of the sectors with the highest employment intensity in terms of renewable energies and so far it has already created over 6,400 permanent jobs in Italy.

An important collaboration has therefore begun in the field of sustainable mobility, generating new initiatives and biomethane-focused projects aimed at involving companies working in the fields of supply chain, public administration, citizen information and research and development.

The goal is to implement all possible synergies in the field of sustainable mobility, in particular through promoting the use of advanced biomethane produced from agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial by-products. This will further strengthen both the technological and industrial chains, already present in the gas and agro-energy sector, and within which biogas is one of the most important forms of energy in Europe and in the world.

Furthermore, Italy has a world-renowned industrial natural gas chain in the transport sector demonstrating both technological and environmental excellence, and this can take advantage of the most extensive and widespread transport network in Europe, at over 32 thousand kilometers long.

Strengthened by integrated and cutting-edge technology, Italy is the premier market in Europe in terms of automotive methane consumption, with approximately 1.1 billion cubic meters consumed, 1 million vehicles currently in circulation and more than 1,300 distributors. There is even further potential in road transport, shipping and in the agricultural sector itself, including agricultural machinery, for which it is important to identify support tools and strategies.

With the signing of the agreement, the parties intend to keep the subject high on the public and institutional agenda due to the series of administrative obstacles still to overcome. These currently prevent the full release of the current potential in the territories and risk impairing the viability of the current biomethane decree, which replaced the previous provision of 2013.

For example, estimated based on electricity production from biogas, there is currently potental for the production of approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters of biomethane, however some interpretations of the DM March 2, 2018 and related GSE application procedures are holding back the plant conversion.

For this reason, as also confirmed in the agreement, it is necessary to create a control room with representatives of national and regional institutions to support gradual and sustained development of biomethane to benefit the entire community and for environmental protection.

 

Snam CEO Marco Alverà said: “This agreement marks a new and important step for the consolidation of the Italian biomethane supply chain, a goal which Snam is strongly committed to with an investment program of at least 200 million euro by 2022 to support biomethane and sustainable mobility infrastructure. Biomethane, and renewable gas in general, will play a decisive role in achieving climate objectives in Italy and in Europe and in developing the Italian agricultural supply chain in a circular economy perspective”.

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30 July 2019 - 19:24 CEST