Italian manufacturers cut production to save energy, government official says

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An aerial view of the SNAM underground gas storage facility in Minerbio, Italy, June 11, 2021. Picture taken with a drone June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Alex Fraser

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MILAN, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Energy-intensive industries in Italy are shifting production to save energy as they grapple with skyrocketing bills, a senior official at the Ecological Transition Ministry said on Sunday.

“There are entire industrial sectors, the glass and canning industry, where rationing, in the form of self-rationing, has already begun, albeit silently,” said Massimiliano Atelli, who leads the committee of the ministry that assesses the environmental impact of new renewable energies. plants.

“But it’s not without costs, social costs…because as production slows down, we should be thinking about those who work in these industries,” he said during a meeting. conference.

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Italy, which last year got almost 40% of the gas imported from Russia, recently reached agreements with several alternative gas-producing countries to reduce its dependence on Moscow. Half of the gas is burned to produce electricity.

These agreements allowed Rome to quickly fill its gas storage, but were not enough to protect its industries from soaring energy prices.

This has led entrepreneurs and politicians to criticize the government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi which, unlike Germany, has so far said there is no need to impose state rationing measures. gas.

At the same conference, a senior official at Italian gas network operator Snam (SRG.MI) said the country’s gas storage system would be 80% full in the coming days.

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Reporting by Francesca Landini; edited by Philippa Fletcher

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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