ERG-Shell's Sicily LNG regas plant approved

ERG CEO Alessandro Garrone said the regasification terminal his firm plans to build with Shell at Priolo, Sicily, has received environmental clearance and will be operational in 2013.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, May 20 -- ERG SPA Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Garrone said the regasification terminal his firm plans to build with Royal Dutch Shell PLC at Priolo, Sicily, has received environmental clearance and will be operational in 2013.

"We have just obtained the VIA (environmental) clearance," Garrone said, referring to one of the main steps in the clearance process. In 2007, ERG postponed the start of operations at the plant to 2011 from 2010.

In February, Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore quoted Garrone as saying delays in government approval of the project were "unacceptable." At the time, Il Sole said, the project had already cost 15 million euros and had been awaiting approval for 3 years.

On start-up, the plant will have a capacity of 8 billion cu m/year, with a potential expansion capacity to 12 billion cu m/year. ERG said construction will begin in 2010.

Earlier this month, Italy's environment ministry approved plans by Compagnie Industriali Riunite SPA's energy unit Sorgenia SPA and northwest utility Iride SPA for construction of an LNG terminal at Gioia Tauro in Calabria (OGJ Online, May 2, 2008).

Last October, Italy's Council of Ministers approved plans to simplify and accelerate the permitting process for new LNG terminals. The plans aimed at easing planning restrictions, which had prevented several terminal developers from securing final planning approvals for their facilities.

The new plans no longer require operators to consult the public works council Consiglio superiore dei lavori pubblici. Instead, Italy's Environment Ministry will conduct and complete an environmental impact assessment for final authorization by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

More in Pipelines & Transportation