MILAN -Italy is not planning any further measures to claw back profits from energy companies, Ecology Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said on Wednesday.
“No, I would say that at this time what we have to do is guarantee energy security… this is the No. 1 priority,” Cingolani said on Italian radio.
Italy expects to raise 4 billion euros ($4.36 billion) from clawback measures introduced earlier this year as part of a package to help firms and consumers with surging energy costs.
Rome is concerned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could send energy prices higher should gas supplies from Gazprom be disrupted.
Italy sources about 40% of its gas imports from Russia and has been scrambling to find alternatives and diversify its supply mix.
Cingolani, who said it would take around three years for Italy to fully wean itself off Russian gas, said Italy was currently talking to seven countries asking for more gas.
“With some of them, the talks are very advanced,” he said.
On Tuesday the minister said Italy expected to get an extra 10 billion cubic metres of gas from pipelines to Algeria, Libya and Azerbaijan this year.
The hunt for more gas to replace Russian flows did not mean Italy planned to temper its climate goals, Cingolani said.
“We will not slow down our transition drive at the moment,” he said.
He also said Italy faced very limited damage from the European Union’s recent ban on Russian coal imports since coal played a minor role in the country’s energy mix.
($1 = 0.9169 euros)