Snam releases CCS Zero-Carbon Technology Roadmap

By Snam | September 06, 2023

The application of the principle of technology neutrality to the decarbonisation process undertaken by the European Union and Italy is a fundamental condition for reaching the decarbonisation targets. CCS represents an indispensable solution to reduce emissions from Hard to Abate industries, thus safeguarding the survival and competitiveness of important economic sectors. It is therefore crucial that Italy defines and implements a vision that, through CCS, combines environmental, social, and industrial policy sustainability objectives.

This is what emerges from the Strategic Study "Carbon Capture and Storage: a strategic lever for decarbonisation and industrial competitiveness", carried out by The European House - Ambrosetti in collaboration with Eni and Snam, which was unveiled today at the Forum of The European House - Ambrosetti.

"The centrality of the climate urgency on the international political agenda has led to a growing interest in CCUS, both from European governments, many of which have included this technology in their decarbonisation strategies, and from private industries, major emitters in particular, who see it as a fundamental solution to their decarbonisation ambitions - commented Guido Brusco, General Manager Natural Resources at Eni - The main international organisations attribute to the CCUS a role of primary importance in the energy transition, including it among the solutions needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. CCUS represents one of the fundamental levers within Eni's strategy towards carbon neutrality, articulated in a solid and concrete industrial transformation plan focused on the use of multiple technological solutions that are already available at the industrial level or can be implemented in the short term. Eni intends to leverage its experience and skills to reconvert, in maximum safety and with mature and consolidated technologies, part of the existing infrastructures and production districts into carbon dioxide storage hubs. This will make it possible to decarbonise our own and third-party industrial activities at competitive costs and in a short timeframe; entire industrial areas will be able to play a central role on the path to decarbonisation, therefore integrating the emissions reduction objectives with operational continuity and competitiveness."


"Europe has set forth very ambitious goals for the protection of the environment, the containment of global warming, and the decarbonisation of production activities that contribute most to the generation of greenhouse gases that are harmful to our quality of life. It therefore becomes imperative for all those involved (industries, infrastructure operators and institutions) to assess all the options available to achieve these goals, following a logic of technological neutrality." Said Stefano Venier, CEO of Snam. "As shown by the Strategic Study developed by The European House - Ambrosetti, with the contribution of Snam and Eni, the potential of the development of CCS activities to achieve the decarbonisation objectives is now clear and undeniable. Moreover, this conclusion is in line with what has also emerged from other trustworthy studies, including those of the International Energy Agency (IEA). CCS is a mature and established technology that is safe and, above all, necessary for all industrial processes involving the production of CO2. In our role as a strategic infrastructural operator for the Country, we have taken up with conviction the challenge of being part of the first Italian CCS project on an industrial scale, linked to the Ravenna Hub around which to develop an infrastructure that is essential for the future viability of the existing industries and potentially attracting new settlements in Italy. In these early stages of the project, the full support of the institutions will be crucial in terms of incentive support schemes and the definition of the regulatory framework on CO2 capture, transport and storage."

"It is necessary to exploit all available technological levers, in a logic of synergy and complementarity, to achieve the decarbonisation goals. In particular, the Strategic Study 'Carbon Capture and Storage: a strategic lever for decarbonisation and industrial competitiveness' has highlighted the potential contribution of CCS to the Italian decarbonisation process, as well as the important economic and social spin-offs enabled by this technological solution." Commented Valerio De Molli, Managing Partner and CEO of The European House - Ambrosetti. "By leveraging the implementation of the Ravenna Hub, it will be possible to store around 300 million tons of CO2 by 2050, compared to the total capacity of 500 million tons. According to the macroeconomic model developed by The European House - Ambrosetti, this solution will make it possible to support the competitiveness of industrial sectors that together generate 19 billion Euros of Value Added with about 354 thousand jobs. These sectors in turn support important industrial sectors with a total value of 62.5 billion Euros in Value Added with 1.27 million jobs, also considering the indirect and induced impact. Moreover, the deployment of CCS will favour the creation of a value chain that will generate 1.55 billion Euros in Value Added and 17 thousand jobs by 2050. At the national level, it will be important to continue developing CCS solutions also beyond the Ravenna Hub to support the decarbonisation and competitiveness of the Hard to Abate sectors that, in direct impact alone, generate 94 billion Euros in Value Added with 1.25 million jobs."

It is now clear that decarbonisation will be the challenge of our century. Globally, there are major difficulties in achieving the goal of the Paris and Glasgow Agreements to limit global warming to below 1.5° C, compared to pre-industrial levels, and as highlighted by the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), decisive and rapid global action is needed to achieve this goal.

Against this backdrop, the European Union has set new and more challenging decarbonisation targets, and Hard to Abate industries must succeed in maintaining their competitiveness, even in the face of the revision of the Emission Trading System (ETS).

Among the various technological solutions available to meet the decarbonisation targets of the Hard to Abate sectors, CCS is the only one that combines maturity, safety and affordability.


Moreover, it is the only viable option to reduce the process emissions of the Hard to Abate sectors and concretely accelerate the full decarbonisation of the industry. At an aggregate level, the Hard to Abate sectors generate 94 billion Euros in Value Added and 1.25 million jobs in Italy and emit 63.7 million tonnes of CO2, of which 22% from process. The European House - Ambrosetti estimates that electrification, energy efficiency, bioenergy, hydrogen, and raw material change could, used together, contribute to a reduction of no more than 52% of these emissions. Decarbonising the remaining 48%, or 30.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year, will require CCS solutions.

According to the theoretical model developed by The European House - Ambrosetti, it will be possible to store about 300 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050, equal to about four times the annual emissions of the Lombardy Region, by leveraging the construction of the Ravenna Hub, which has an estimated total capacity of over 500 million tonnes. Once fully operational in the middle of the next decade, this project will allow the transport and storage of about 16 million tonnes of CO2 emitted and sequestered annually from Hard to Abate sectors.

In addition, the Ravenna Hub's CCS project will foster the creation of a value chain to generate

1.55 billion Euros in Value Added (29.9 billion Euros cumulative between 2026 and 2050) and over 17 thousand jobs by 2050.

The key role of the Ravenna Hub is evident, but it will be necessary to increase the volumes of CO2 injection until the overall available storage capacity is saturated, and to develop further CCS initiatives to decarbonise the remaining share of emissions that could not otherwise be abated (estimated at 14.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year). Such initiatives could help maintain the competitiveness of additional sectors capable of generating 57.7 billion Euros in Value Added with 1.19 million jobs between direct, indirect, and induced impacts.

The Ravenna CCS Hub project represents a unique opportunity for the country-system to focus on to position Italy as a reference country for CCS in Southern Europe. Italy can play a central role in defining a competitive framework capable of attracting investments and facilitating the start-up of projects, positioning itself as the main point of reference for the development of CCS in Southern Europe, including innovative and research strands such as applications for carbon dioxide utilisation (CCU) and CO2 capture in bio-energy production.

To enable the full development of CCS, according to a technology-neutral principle, and to generate the related economic and social benefits, it is necessary to identify and promote coherent regulatory schemes capable of reconciling decarbonisation, economic competitiveness and employment aspects through integrated planning and support mechanisms for de-risking throughout the supply chain.

First, there is a need to create the so-called 'soft infrastructure', i.e., a clear and stable regulatory framework needed to facilitate the full development of CCS that provides investment certainty.

The second area of intervention refers to the application of CCS to different forms of emissions. The deployment of CCS solutions will be able to accompany the decarbonisation pathway of Hard to Abate industries, in synergy with other solutions and according to a principle of technological neutrality and complementarity between the different options available. Furthermore, CCS will be able to support the decarbonisation of the electricity grid by ensuring its stability in the presence of a high and prioritised penetration of non- programmable renewable sources and accelerate the deployment of low-carbon energy carriers, such as hydrogen.


The third area of intervention concerns strategic planning, as the development and deployment of CCS solutions will have to be facilitated by the definition of a clear political vision, shared strategic planning and a roadmap for development at national level. Decarbonisation targets through CCS will have to be identified in more detail in the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan and the role of institutions in involving stakeholders will have to be strengthened.

The fourth and final area of intervention addresses the need to reduce the financial risks associated with CCS projects along the entire supply chain, like other decarbonisation levers, to provide certainty to industrial players, particularly emitters, and enable the creation of important economic and social benefits across society.