April 8, 2008 / 10:20 AM / 11 years ago

Enel Sicily LNG terminal plan moves a step nearer

FUSINA, Italy, April 8 (Reuters) - Italian power company Enel (ENEI.MI) has received a key environmental go-ahead for its 8 billion cubic metre liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Sicily, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

An Environment Ministry sub-committee weighing the impact of the Porto Empedocle plant has approved the 600 million euro ($943.5 million) project, the spokesman said.

The ministry’s full environmental impact panel will give its opinion on Friday, he said at the ground-breaking for a hydrogen-fuelled Enel power plant near Venice.

If Enel receives approval from the ministry, it hopes to get the remaining permits by the end of the year, with construction to take three years, the spokesman said.

Enel, Italy’s biggest power company, launched the permits process for the plant in 2004. Authorisation of any big industrial project is a long process in Italy since it requires approval from local authorities as well as the Industry and Environment ministries.

Italy imports about 85 percent of its natural gas to cover its growing domestic demand. It has one LNG plant, built in the 1970s.

Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova

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