Italy's Emilia Romagna region has approved a project for a new floating LNG terminal off the coast of Ravenna in the upper Adriatic sea, it said on Monday, part of the country's broader efforts to replace dwindling Russian gas supplies.
Almost one billion euros ($998 million) in total will be invested in the project, Emilia Romagna's Economic Development Councillor Vincenzo Colla told a news conference. The clearance took only about four months to be secured -- rather than years for similar projects in the past.
As part of its energy strategy, Italy is adding two floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) to its existing three facilities.
One will be off Ravenna, the other moored in the Tuscan port of Piombino on the other coast.
The two new LNG terminals, both to be operated by Italy's state-controlled gas grid operator Snam, will have a capacity of 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) each, covering around 15% of national annual gas consumption.
Snam in July agreed with BW LNG to buy the FRSU that will be used in Ravenna, the 300-meter-long BW Singapore vessel.
Snam Chief Executive Stefano Venier said on Monday that preparatory works would last two years, with the Ravenna LNG terminal expected to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2024.
"We have chosen Ravenna and Piombino both for the technical characteristics they offer us, but also because they're close to consumers," Venier said. Italy hopes that Piombino will be operating by the end of next March.
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(Reuters - Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Alvise Armellini and Keith Weir)