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Micoperi to build Israeli LNG terminal

LNG Industry,

State-owned Israel Natural Gas Lines has reportedly signed a deal with Micoperi, the Italian marine contractor, to construct an offshore LNG terminal worth approximately US$ 140 million.

The terminal is expected to have a capacity of 2.5 billion m3/yr and will be situated 10 km offshore the Mediterranean city of Habera.

Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau said on Monday Israel could face a shortage as early as the third quarter of 2012, and that the terminal is a quick solution.

"The terminal is of the utmost strategic importance for the country's ability to ensure a continuous energy supply to its power stations and to safeguard its energy security," he said.

Construction of the terminal is expected to commence in the second half of 2012 and be finished by the end of the year.

Israel is being forced to construct the terminal because the current gas field, which Israel relies on, has been run down at an exponential rate, because piped gas from Egypt has become unreliable.

Israel was receiving significant amounts of gas from Egypt but the pipeline through the Sinai peninsula has been repeatedly sabotaged and this has forced it to rethink its energy strategy.

In the long term Israel will have supplies coming from the Tamar field, which is being developed at the moment but will not come online until 2013 and the Leviathan field but this will not come online until 2017. When these fields come onstream Israel will have a secure supply for many years to come, but in the short-term to guarantee energy security and prevent soaring energy prices an LNG terminal is the best solution.

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