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Climate change Liquigas, Italy 4/19/2021

Sustainable fuels for mountain communities

LNG tank in winter
In 2020 Comano Terme became the first municipality in Italy with an LNG-fuelled pipeline network that serves the community, thanks to Liquigas’ installation of a 90m3 LNG storage plant and corresponding pipeline.

New options for rural areas

Comano Terme is a typical mountain municipality in Northern Italy that relies on tourism. Its spa, hotels, gym, local businesses and fire brigade are its principal energy users. Before Liquigas’ intervention, the primary fuel used by this remote area was previously heating oil. This was due to lack of other options, as the national natural gas grid ends 30km away.

Cleaner air and a healthier environment

The new 8km LNG pipeline offers residents a cleaner, more sustainable option; Liquigas estimates its installation will result in the avoidance of 870 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, which is an 18.5% decrease.

In addition, it will benefit local air quality. Liquigas has calculated that there will be a 69.5% reduction in PM10 emissions. These calculations are based on all local public energy users and at least 65% of private energy users switching to LNG within 6 years.

The 9th December 2020 was an important milestone: after the LNG tank was filled for the first time, the first users were connected. These first users included many local households but also public facilities like the church and the nursery school. 70 contracts were signed in 2020 alone.

Comano Terme’s thermal spa is one of the biggest draws for tourists, which makes it integral to the economy of the municipality and the surrounding area. Liquigas will soon count the spa as a customer, which is testament to the enthusiasm of the local community for the project.

Strength in numbers

The success of this installation is the result of strong cooperation and collaboration from people across the business, including representatives from Sales, Technical Management and LNG Sales.

There is already interest in repeating this success elsewhere, as Cristiano Pedrazzini, Industrial Sales & Account manager at Liquigas, explains, “There are many locations in mountain areas where this project can be replicated: this experience can help us to consolidate our skills and face new challenges. At the moment we are working on researching and contacting other potentially interested municipalities. In Italy there are about 1,100 local authorities partially or totally not reached by the gas public network, I'd say that opportunities are not lacking!"

Michele Dossena, Network Piping Business Developer at Liquigas, concurs, “Comano Terme has led the way, now other municipalities are expressing interest in the LNG canalised network.”