PARIS, Aug. 29 -- Gaz de France is studying the feasibility of building an LNG terminal and regasification facility in the Adriatic Sea off Italy's Marche region.
"We are today at the preliminary study stage and will soon broach the administrative authorization stage," said Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Francois Cirelli, who announced the project Aug. 29.
The 5 billion cu m/year capacity terminal would be located sufficiently distant from the shore to avoid a "Not In My Back Yard" reaction from Italy's populace, which has rejected a number of other proposed LNG terminals, he said.
Cirelli indicated that the group would be open to partnerships with other operators for the Adriatic Sea project and pointed out the group's recent access to new markets, such as the agreement with Cheniere in North America and Phase 2 of the Isle of Grain in Britain (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2007 and OGJ, May 28, 2007, Newsletter).
He also reviewed other Gaz de France LNG projects under development: the more-advanced 5 billion cu m/year Rabaska terminal project in Quebec developed in joint venture with Quebec's Gaz Metro and US-based Enbridge, and the doubling of capacity in late 2008 of the Dahej, India, terminal, in which Gaz de France has a 10% stake.
In October Gaz de France Norge will export its first gas volumes from Norway, and at yearend, Gaz de France will receive its first LNG cargo from Snovit field.
Gaz de France also is aggressively expanding natural gas storage in France and Europe, Cirelli said. "The flexibility tools are diminishing in Europe, and storage facilities are taking on strategic value," he said (OGJ Online, Aug. 28, 2007).