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New Italian company to develop wave power

28 ottobre 2019 | 18.50
LETTURA: 3 minuti

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Italy's oil and gas giant Eni, state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, shipbuilder Fincantieri and energy firm Terna on Monday agreed to set up a company to develop and manufacture wave-energy power plants, they said in a statement.

Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte and the chief executive officers of CDP, Fabrizio Palermo, of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, of Terna, Luigi Ferraris, and of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, inked the accord in the eastern city of Ravenna, the statement said.

The accord will launch the first phase of a joint project to convert the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter pilot project, an innovative system that transforms energy generated by waves into electricity, into an industrial scale power station, making its application and use immediately available, said the statement.

The companies will develop a business model and define a deployment plan for Italy. At the same time, the first ISWEC industrial installation will be completed near Eni’s Prezioso platform in the Strait of Sicily, in the Gela offshore, with a launch planned for the second half of 2020, the statement said.

During the second phase, the partners will work on the new company's statute and devise a plan for the production and development of activities, starting with implementation in Italy’s minor islands first, and at a later stage in other countries, the statement added.

“This agreement fits perfectly in our strategic plan for decarbonisation and applies to Eni’s remarkable experience in both offshore activities and the management of highly complex projects," said Descalzi.

"On the basis of those skills, we set up and installed the first industrial application of ISWEC in record time for this sector," he added.

"Collaborating with three examples of Italian excellence like CDP, Terna and Fincantieri will enable us to make available an outstanding asset of 'know-how' and therefore accelerate the industrialisation process of this technology, unlike other similar projects”.

CDP will promote the project by managing institutional relations with national and local establishments. And working together with Eni, Terna and Fincantieri it will evaluate economical and financial profiles and the most suitable forms of financial support to the energy produced within the project.

“This agreement, as the result of collaboration among companies in which the CDP Group has a stake, intends to develop an extremely innovative technology," Palermo commented.

The project is also consistent with CDP's strategy of directing its future activities and investments to support the energy transition and fight climate change, he said.

Fincantieri will offer its industrial and technical shipbuilding skills for the development and deployment of the first “full scale” industrial application, the statement noted.

“This large-scale industrial and technological cooperation, that sees our company working together with the likes of Eni, Terna and CDP, opens a new frontier in Italy for the utilisation or renewable energy, while managing to enhance our country’s morphology at the same time," commented Bono.

"This state-of-the-art project will mark a turning point for the sustainable development of the country,” Bono said.

Terna will contribute with its industrial and technical know-how applied to electric engineering for the development and deployment of the first “full scale” industrial application and its integration with the power grid.

“The initiative launched in association with Eni, CDP and Fincantieri will allow us to further share our experience and know-how in innovation, technology and research applied to the energetic transition," said Ferraris.

ISWEC is the only wave conversion energy system in the world with a smart grid hybrid system equipped with both a photovoltaic and energy storage that can supply power to medium-large offshore assets, as well as providing fully renewable energy to remote, unconnected to the grid places such as minor islands, where the deployment plan will mostly focus on at this stage, the statement underlined.

The extremely innovative ISWEC system will bring Italy several significant benefits: wave power energy can be implemented capitalising on the country's extensive coastline, with an environmental impact even lower than the main renewable energy technologies developed on the mainland, according to the statement.

"The agreement will be subject to subsequent binding contracts that the parties involved will define according to the applicable law, included that which regulates operations among related parties and antitrust," the statement ended.

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