February 8, 2011 / 4:21 PM / 9 years ago

Enel sees Sicily LNG terminal operating in 2015

MILAN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Enel SpA (ENEI.MI) expects its 8 billion cubic metre liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Sicily to be operational in 2015, Italy’s biggest utility said on Tuesday.

The terminal, which will be located at Sicily’s Porto Empedocle, will cost the company around 850 million euros ($1.2 billion), Enel said in a slide presented at a conference.

“We already have some 3 billion cubic metres of gas earmarked for the terminal and will have the contracts for the rest nearer the date,” Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said on the sidelines of the conference.

Italy, which is heavily dependent on gas for its energy needs, already has two working LNG import terminals, and a series of other facilities are in the pipeline.

“Not all new gas infrastructure projects will be built,” Italian Industry Undersecretary Stefano Saglia said, speaking at the same conference.

The number of LNG projects that become operational “will be counted on one hand, not two”, Saglia said.

Italy, which has no nuclear power capacity, generates over 50 percent of its electricity from gas.

The Italian government is targeting a fuel mix that includes 25 percent renewables and 25 percent nuclear, with a reduction in the gas share.

Saglia confirmed the government’s aim is to gradually reduce the size of incentives for power generation from renewable energy in line with the reduction of renewable energy costs.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Jane Baird

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