Italy’s new energy strategy to cut gas prices

EPA/Massimo Percossi

Carlo Calenda, Italian Minister of Economic Development, during a press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, 02 May 2017.

Italy’s new energy strategy to cut gas prices


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Italy’s Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda has proposed a national energy strategy aimed at overhauling the country’s gas sector and cutting prices by 5%. Under the plan, Italy would buy pipeline capacity in neighbouring Switzerland.

But Calenda’s proposal to use the Swiss capacity to try to boost liquidity and lower prices in Italy has led to a backlash from a lobby group that represents most of Europe’s major energy companies and trading houses, reported Bloomberg.

“It shouldn’t be implemented at all,” said Pietro Baldovin, a Brussels-based adviser at the European Federation of Energy Traders. “Any gas hub should simply function according to the rules of supply and demand.”

EFET, whose members include companies and traders from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Gazprom PJSC and Vitol Group, has been examining the proposal since June, when it was first laid out. Lobby groups have already helped stymie one attempt by a member of parliament to turn the measure into law and are closely watching further legislative moves, Baldovin said.

Aiget, the Italian Association of Wholesalers and Energy Traders, also opposes the plan, Secretary-General Paolo Ghislandi said.

According to Bloomberg, Calenda has declined to comment further. And a discussion on the energy strategy scheduled for October 11 was cancelled because legislators needed to vote on electoral law. They haven’t yet rescheduled talks.

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