Small Scale LNG

Small Scale LNG

Small Scale LNG

Efficient and economic solution to reduce emissions in the heavy transport sector and for the marine and railway sectors.

Small Scale LNG (SSLNG) refers to a set of logistics activities used to handle small/medium quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG). SSLNG logistics is mainly used to supply LNG and Bio-LNG in the heavy road, maritime and rail transport sectors.

LNG is an economical and efficient solution, that significantly reduces emissions of road, sea and rail - not electrified - transport compared to other fossil fuels.


In road transport, the use of LNG by heavy duty trucks and coaches allows a significant reduction in local pollutants, ensuring a reduction of more than 90% in NOx emissions when compared to Euro IV diesel vehicles, and between 40% and 60% when compared to Euro VI diesel vehicles. Ammonia emissions from LNG-fuelled vehicles are negligible and PM levels produced are lower than those of diesel vehicles, even without the use of particulate filters.

Finally, LNG and especially Bio-LNG also allow a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. LNG-fuelled vehicles can reduce CO2 emissions by 10% to 20% compared to diesel vehicles. Furthermore, by using Bio-LNG, CO2 emissions can be further reduced and, in some circumstances, can be negative.

For maritime transport, LNG is considered the most promising alternative fuel in the short to medium term and Bio-LNG may become a long-term solution.

Compared to the fuel oil commonly used for shipping today, LNG and Bio-LNG reduce sulphur emissions to almost 0% and therefore meet the existing and planned emission limits of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), even in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs). Ships fuelled by LNG and Bio-LNG have negligible emissions of particulate matter and produce around 90% fewer nitrogen oxides when compared to ships powered by conventional fuels.

Finally, LNG is treated to completely eliminate particulates and SOx and almost completely remove NOx, making it a product with very high standards of environmental compatibility.

In order to reap these benefits, it is essential to upgrade the infrastructure, with a particular focus on adapting regasification terminals, constructing micro-liquefaction plants and building coastal storage facilities.

LNG is part of a wider European Union energy and environmental policy that aims at the gradual transition to a low-carbon economy through the substantial reduction of pollutant emissions, the use of clean fuels and the use of renewable sources. In particular, in January 2013, the EU Commission has developed the Clean Power for Transport Package that provides for a Directive on the development of alternative fuel distribution infrastructure such as, for example, LNG. In 2016, the DAFI directive on alternative fuels was also transposed in Italy in order to establish a national strategic framework for the development of the CNG, of the LNG, of biofuel (bio-CNG and bio-GNL) and the electricity in the transportation sector. Plan also included directives for the infrastructures and binding targets. The (bio)LNG is the winning solution for both heavy road and maritime transport towards medium and long term mobility with "net zero emissions".


  • LNG development with the adaptation of existing terminals and realization of coastal deposits and micro liquefaction plants
  • Efficient and economical solution to reduce emissions in road, marine and rail transport
NOX-90% SO2-100% Soot/

Forecast demand SSLNG Italy to 2030*:

  • max 7 Mtoe (8.5 billion mc) for land transfer, industrial uses, domestic uses and bunkerings
    *Source DAFI Consultation Document (MiSe June 2015)


TRANSPORT (synergic with gas stations)
icona Diesel for heavy road transport LNG
icona Fuel oil and maritime diesel for sea transport LNG
icona Diesel on non-electrified lines LNG
Heating (areas not connected with the network)
icona GPL O.C. and diesel for heating LNG
icona GPL O.C. and diesel for users not connected with the network LNG


Snam sees great potential in the new uses of LNG in terms of reducing emissions, both climate-changing and polluting. To this end, the company has consolidated its commitment to numerous initiatives, developed together with various partners, for the development of Small Scale LNG infrastructure, with the aim of making available and distributing liquid natural gas for sustainable mobility for ships, lorries and trains.

In the heavy road transport sector, Snam has started the permitting process for upgrading the Panigaglia terminal, in the province of La Spezia, in order to enable truck-loading service for LNG distribution, in addition to traditional regasification activities. Snam is also working on a project for the construction of micro-liquefactors to produce LNG and Bio-LNG in Italy, which will further encourage their use as alternative fuels.

With regard to the maritime transport sector, the company OLT, in which Snam has a joint controlling interest, is adapting the FSRU terminal in Livorno for bunker vessel loading.

In cooperation with Fondazione FS and HITACHI, the study and operational implementation of the first LNG/Bio-LNG train in Italy are also underway. This partnership is the result of the three companies’ desire to promote the use of green fuels instead of diesel in the railway sector.

The pilot project involves converting two diesel railcars to Bio-LNG and LNG and tests conducted at the beginning of 2021 were successful.

Logistic chain of the Small Scale LNG

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15 June 2021 - 13:42 CEST