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Ravenna, Farinelli (Children): “We must return to the extraction of gas in the Adriatic. The recipe against the crisis is to diversify”

Elena Nencini
Back on track after 4 years of crisis, Bambini di Marina di Ravenna mainly deals with offshore and towing, but resists well the difficulties of this period, despite the fact that due to the blockade drilling, the company has been forced to focus most of its work overseas, particularly in West Africa, as Ugo Farinelli of Bambini’s sales office explains.
Farinelli, how is Bambini coping with the current crisis?
“The covid/conflict combination in Ukraine has mostly mixed ‘the cards’. Nothing is the same and even the time horizon with which our planning is carried out is increasingly narrow. The recipe is to maintain a lean organization as much as possible and to manage resources sparingly, with a very strong emphasis on cost control”.
About 65% of your turnover comes from abroad, what is the impact of logistics at the moment?
“Intra-company logistics to support our units abroad is an increasingly important budget item. Transport and handling are very expensive, formalities have multiplied and delivery times have lengthened”.
Are rising fuel prices affecting your work?
“Like any business, we are heavily dependent on energy. This is, among other things, our sector of activity. High energy prices mean increases in all expenditure items, as it costs more to buy both goods and services. We have also recorded episodes of shortage of petroleum products for the propulsion of our ships. It is important to always know how to plan in a far-sighted way, even if the horizons available are increasingly short-term”.
Do you think there are new markets for the future of your work?
“We moved abroad following the choices of our political class. Unfortunately, ours has been a forced emigration due to the reduction of hydrocarbon production volumes in Italy and the difficulty in starting up offshore projects for renewable energies. At present, our main market is sub-Saharan Africa, where we have tried to consolidate our position, given the internal situation. We believe that this market still has significant development potential, also taking into account the efforts of energy companies who have also been forced to replace significant Russian supplies. But we also look elsewhere because diversification and innovation (in all areas, including management) are the best remedy for the difficult and uncertain times we face”.
Is there a shortage of container rentals?
“Our supply chain for units located abroad goes through the transport of goods by sea by container. Unfortunately, we have experienced delays and setbacks. Additional factors that made it even more difficult for us to manage.”
Has the staff been reduced?
“No reduction in staff has been recorded. Our business has held up and, in areas where we have suffered a slowdown in activity, we have been able to absorb the greater availability of staff with some additional holiday periods”.
What do you think of the energy transition and how the conversion can affect it?
“It’s a theme that involves all of us, as citizens and, even more so, as entrepreneurs. We must approach the transition in a reasoned and far-sighted way, without the fuss or excess, otherwise we risk sacrificing on the altar of a formidable environmental sustainability of the facade, greater damage, as well as less social sustainability. It is a consequence of the inevitable choices that will have to be made to guarantee a future for ourselves and our children”.
What do you think of the possibility of resuming gas extraction in the Adriatic?
“Certainly positive, although increasing production to a ‘tight turn’ would still be quite small compared to the Russian resources to be replaced. Moreover, production reactivation times would be far from immediate, as it would take months or years to sanction and authorize new projects and, thus, reverse the dramatic downward trend in national gas production. However, it would be essential to use these resources “Italian for Italians”. Firstly because they are practically the same reservoirs from which the other coastal states of the Adriatic Sea are also potentially withdrawing, secondly because the companies and, therefore, the workers for the necessary works would be Italian and, for the most, from Romagna. These are safe activities, which have a positive impact on the whole nation (work, royalties, contribution to energy independence, etc.). In a way, the same paradox of nuclear is repeated: as Italians, we said no, but then we needed to continue to buy energy produced with this technology, a few kilometers from home. We have a chain of businesses, workforces, related industries and skills to save. Natural gas is however considered, even at the level of European institutions and policies, as the fossil fuel vector for the transition to an economy with a lower carbon impact. We cannot and must not lose this opportunity”.

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