Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced the deal alongside Congolese foreign minister Jean Claude
Gakosso in Brazzaville, said that the Russian attack on Ukraine has obliged Italy to diversify its sources of energy.
Italy like most countries in Europe is trying to cut its reliance on Russian natural gas imports quickly, with leaders recognizing that their payments help fund Moscow’s war, but Umberto Triulzi, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Rome, Sapienza, believes Italy doesn’t have the proper arrangement for such a swift change.
“The countries with which we have made agreements in the last years like Algeria, Libya, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Angola, Congo, Mozambique, all these countries, we have asked them to increase their export to Italy and we have to do this in a different way.
For some of them we have pipelines, like Algeria, like Libya, and Azerbaijan, but for others we don’t have it. So we need to build oil pipelines, and gas pipelines, and also the regasification (regasification plant), as we said, but we don’t produce it, we have to buy it from countries who do produce it, like Korea.
So it is a lot of investment that we need to do and this is something that requires again time, resources, which we don’t have so much now because of the crisis, but you cannot do anything else, this is something that is a must.”
The new deal with Congo calls for a new Liquefied Natural Gas project that is expected to launch next year with a capacity of up to 4.5 billion cubic meters a year.