As part of the deal, the partners will focus on developing four small-scale liquefaction plants for natural gas and biomethane. The plans are intended to make LNG and renewable bio-LNG available for mobility.

By the end of 2018, the firms will assess the feasibility of the future development of the four small-scale liquefaction plants distributed throughout the country.

Snam CEO Marco Alverà said: “With this Agreement we want to give a further impetus to the spread of sustainable mobility and to the decarbonization of the entire heavy transport sector throughout Italy.

“Our goal, in particular, is to make a decisive contribution to the diffusion of a new concept of mobility from renewable sources thanks to biomethane and bio-LNG.

“The entry into the micro-LNG segment – which can liquefy pipeline gas and biomethane –  leverages Snam’s European leadership in gas infrastructure and its existing presence in natural gas mobility, which is expected to be a growth market for gas consumption worldwide and where Snam may be able to export its competencies.”

Snam said that the micro-LNG plants, which are expected to promote sustainability in maritime transportation in Italy, are estimated to cost €50m to €80m.

BHGE chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said: “We know that low carbon fuel sources will continue play an important role in enabling a seamless transition to a more sustainable energy mix.

“This agreement further demonstrates the strength of BHGE’s fullstream portfolio of advanced technologies and service solutions for the gas market as well as proven expertise in the micro-LNG sector.”

The four plants are expected to have a combined annual production of approximately 140,000 tons of LNG or bio-LNG (liquefied biomethane obtained from the organic fraction of urban waste or from agricultural and agro-industrial biomass).

The scope of the deal also includes the opportunity to develop additional micro-LNG plants in Italy and abroad.