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Gas Natural scraps plan to build LNG terminal in Italy

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LNG Industry,

Reuters are reporting that Gas Natural has given up on a long-standing project to build a LNG facility in northern Italy after years of slow progress and the sale of its Italian businesses.

A Gas Natural spokeswoman said it made no sense to keep the LNG project on the company’s books when it no longer had a network and assets in Italy.

Last year, Gas Natural sold its gas distribution and retail businesses in Italy in a deal worth more than €1 billion (US$1.16 billion).

The spokeswoman also said there had been no advances made in the project since environmental clearance had been obtained in 2009.

Red tape and grass root opposition in Italy have chased off several foreign investors in recent years seeking to build infrastructure in Italy, including BG Group which had tried to build an LNG terminal in the southern city of Brindisi.

Local opposition is currently holding up work to construct the Italian end of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline that is scheduled to bring Azeri gas to Italy in 2020.

The environment manager of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where the terminal would have been built, said in comments on the region’s website he was satisfied with the Spanish group’s decision.

“The decision of Gas Natural is perfectly in line with the strategic programme of the region’s current governor in the election campaign,” Fabio Scoccimarro said.

“It is a position shared also by all the political parties in recent years,” he said.

The LNG project, first presented in 2004, had envisaged the building of a regasification terminal in the port of Zaule in Trieste with a capacity of 8 billion m3 of gas per year.


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