Adriatic LNG & Edison: Key challenges & achievements of the Adriatic LNG Terminal

Corrado Papa's picture
Corrado Papa, Commercial Manager, Adriatic LNG
Rosario Bisbiglia's picture
Rosario Bisbiglia, Gas Midstream, Energy Management & Optimization Director Short Term Gas Portfolio Management & Logistics, Edison
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Corrado Papa, Commercial Manager at Adriatic LNG and Rosario Bisbiglia, Gas Midstream, Energy Management & Optimization Director Short Term Gas Portfolio Management & Logistics at Edison talk with Gastech News about the developments of the Adriatic LNG Terminal as well as the key challenges and achievements of the terminal in its first five years of operation.

This is part 1 of a two-part interview. To read part 2, click here.

Gastech News: Can you give us an update on the Adriatic LNG Terminal?

Corrado Papa, Adriatic LNG: The Adriatic LNG terminal is the first offshore Gravity Based Structure for unloading, storing and regasifying Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). With a regasification capacity of 8 billion Sm3/year the Adriatic LNG terminal is confirming its strategic role in the national energy scenario, increasing LNG import capacity and diversification of gas sources and making the Country’s energy supply more secure.

Since the beginning of operations, in the second half of 2009, the Adriatic LNG terminal opened up a new phase in the national energy supply system, enabling Italy to import LNG from Qatar, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago, Equatorial Guinea and Norway. About 34 billion of cubic meters of gas have been delivered to the National grid with more than 400 LNG carriers delivered in 6 years of activity. With a utilization factor higher than 70%, the Adriatic LNG terminal is one of the most utilized terminal in Europe, despite the decrease in demand.

Adriatic LNG terminal is not only a unique infrastructure but is also unique in term of regulatory regime. It is in fact the only terminal where two different regulatory regimes coexist, being 80% of the capacity exempted from third party access and the remaining 20% regulated. This add a significant complexity from a terminal management point of view.

Moreover the terminal has implemented new ancillary services to increase its competitiveness that are used by terminal’s customers to offer additional resources for gas balancing and security of supply to the Italian system

Gastech News: What challenges/achievements have you seen since start-up?

Corrado Papa, Adriatic LNG: The Adriatic LNG terminal is a unique, state of the art facility with several industry firsts. The terminal was started up in September 2009 and was able to reach design throughput in only 3 months from when challenging cooldown operations commenced.

These years were characterized by multiple weather events that tested reliability of LNG carriers berthing operations and ability of the operating organization to manage LNG offloading and inventories, and also tested fundamental design choices, such as the enhanced offloading arms to accommodate the carriers under a variety of meteocean conditions, with successful results.

Thanks to the high reliability and integrity level of the equipment – which resulted from maintenance, inspection and monitoring schedules – the Adriatic LNG terminal has played a key role in delivering natural gas to the national energy system.

Adriatic LNG has confirmed in the past years the strategic role from security of supplies perspective in several occasions such us extreme cold weather or when the importing pipeline were interrupted (e.g. Transitgas in 2010 or Greenstream recently), continuing to operate even under challenging circumstances and meeting requests for send-out flexibility from customers and the national grid.

Regasification reliability, unscheduled downtime, and unplanned capacity loss indicators have continued to improve over time, also thanks to specific reliability improvement initiatives with assistance of our quotaholders.

All these incredible results were achieved putting safety first: at Adriatic LNG our goal is to continue to operate with zero injuries or occupational illnesses, zero spills or regulatory exceedances and no significant loss of containment, equipment damage or business loss is relentlessly being pursued with exceptional and improving results.

Our terminal is a unique infrastructure where technology and operational excellence are combined with environmental sustainability. In recognition of this technological excellence and of its strategic role the Terminal was awarded a prize as the "Best Infrastructure Project of the Year" at the 12th Platts Global Energy Awards.

Rosario Bisbiglia, Edison: In the first 5 years of operations, Edison and Alng have achieved strong experience in the management of such a unique infrastructure, unloading and regasifying an average of around 70 vessels per year (on average one every 4/5 days). One of the key challenge was the management of the send out. It was very difficult for Alng to accommodate the users’ requests of modification of the LNG redelivery profile. This was due to several factors, among those the high complexity of contractual framework as well as the LNG terminal technology. It is important to notice, Alng is the world's first gravity-based LNG terminal.

However, in 2014, Alng launched for the first time a flexibility service aimed at providing users the right to modify their send out one day ahead of delivery. Even if users don't have the kind flexibility that is commonly granted by other Lng terminals around the world and considering that the service is highly dependent on meteorological conditions and other physical constraints, the flexibility service represents an improvement in the operational relationship between Alng and its users.

This is part 1 of a two-part interview. Part 2 will be published shortly.

Wednesday, November 18th at 16:30 – Corrado Papa and Rosario Bisbiglia will be speaking at the EAGC next week in Geneva about "The Adriatic LNG Case Study: Creating value through innovation [Flexibility in contracts]".

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