SIOT, the Italian Company for the Transalpine Pipeline of TAL Group, meets again with Authorities, Media and Stakeholders at a time when the infrastructure that transports crude oil from the Port of Trieste to the heart of Europe is preparing to face the challenges of energy transition and carefully monitors the evolution of the geopolitical situation. Alessio Lilli, President of SIOT, presented the 2021 figures and the company’s future plans.
CONSOLIDATED FIGURES FOR 2021 – During 2021, SIOT – TAL transported 37.2 million tonnes of crude oil, compared to 37.6 million tonnes in the previous year: a substantially stable figure that reflects the trend in the pandemic period, featuring a drop of around 4 million tonnes compared to the last two pre-pandemic years. In 2021, 425 oil tankers docked at the Marine Terminal of the Port of Trieste, compared to 416 ships in 2020.
“Both in the pandemic period and in the current geopolitical situation with the war in Ukraine,” said Alessio Lilli, President of SIOT and General Manager of TAL Group, “our pipeline is strategic for the supply of energy to Central Europe and it is important to Friuli Venezia Giulia’s economy. More than 60 per cent of port traffic flows through the Siot Marine Terminal. As designed and as it has evolved over time, TAL infrastructure now serves the whole of Europe, making Trieste a reference hub for the economies of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic“.
THE YEAR 2022 – As far as current events are concerned, SIOT – TAL is monitoring the geopolitical situation and all the regulations passed at international level as a response to the current conflict. The company is following the evolution of the international sanctions imposed and, although they have not directly affected the movement of crude oil or other aspects of its activities, the company is ready to take action on its operations if the scenario changes. In terms of volumes transported, to date the 2021 trend is confirmed, but there are external elements of uncertainty that could change the expected volumes.
The current geopolitical situation,” said Alessio Lilli, “imposes, beyond the contingency, a series of reflections on the future and the role that infrastructures like ours have and will have on the communities served by the supply of energy, today in the form of crude oil. This reflection has led us to analyse and imagine new projects with sustainability and self-production of energy as key elements.
SUSTAINABILITY AS A LEVER FOR DEVELOPMENT – Two years ago, SIOT – TAL began an in-depth analysis on the sustainability, which will lead to the drafting of the company’s first Sustainability Report. A detailed preliminary internal report has already been drawn up in preparation for the first Sustainability Report, which will be presented in the second half of 2022 and will cover the year 2021.
THE ENERGY COGENERATION PLANT – One of the cornerstones of the sustainability path undertaken by SIOT – TAL concerns the issue of energy transition and autonomous energy production: the company presented, together with the CEO of EnerProject Paolo Pacorini, the plan implemented by EnerProject, the Energy Service Company based in Trieste selected by SIOT – TAL to build seven high-efficiency cogeneration energy units powered by methane gas which will be installed in the pumping stations present in the Region.
The plants will allow SIOT to be almost autonomous in the production of energy and to reduce its environmental impact: on the one hand, they will generate energy in the place where it is used, avoiding transport and the unavoidable losses connected to it; on the other hand, the plants will use the thermal energy recovered from the cogenerators to heat the crude oil in the pipeline, thus decreasing its viscosity so that less energy is needed to move it along the pipeline.
“EnerProject – said Alessio Lilli – has made our vision of energy saving, efficiency, safety and sustainability a reality. High-yield cogeneration is indicated by the EU as one of the main interventions to be used to achieve CO2 reduction targets already in the short term and, as our first internal sustainability report showed, you cannot be truly sustainable if you do not act on your primary source of energy. In this way, we will not only produce the energy we need to run our plants, but we will also move decisively towards a new role of “Prosumers”, i.e. both producers and consumers of energy, ready to share it in a network vision”.
In addition to making the use of energy more efficient for SIOT-TAL, the co-production plants will also enable the company to sell excess energy to the national grid. The system thus devised will also protect the pipeline from possible grid blackouts, particularly in mountain areas, ensuring its operation. Powered by natural gas, the plants will also be able to accept other forms of sustainable fuels, such as biomethane.