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Albania could import LNG from 2009 on Swiss-led plans 7 mai 2006

Posted by Acturca in Energy / Energie, South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est.

European Spot Gas Markets

April 27, 2006 Thursday

The Albanian government’s dreams of hosting an LNG import terminal are slowly moving closer to reality, with the news that a Switzerland-based international consortium called ASG Power, lead by Azienda Elettrica Ticinese (AET) with various private investors, is hoping to build an LNG terminal and power plant in Fier, south west Albania, with a start up date in 2009.

According to reports citing AET, the terminal will cost $1.9 billion and have capacity to import 7.1 million tones per annum (mtpa) of LNG, equivalent to 10 billion cubic metres/year (Gm3/y). It would be accompanied by a combined cycle power plant to be built in three phases of 400 MW each.

Italy could receive 8 Gm3 of gas/year from the terminal with the remaining 2 Gm3 available for use in Albania. This would depend on a project to build an interconnecting pipeline, currently proposed by Swiss utility EGL, coming to fruition. AET also said that in an emergency some gas might be available for use in the Swiss canton of Ticino.

Gjergji Bojaxhi, Albania’s deputy energy minister, has been an active promoter of Albania as a gas consumer itself and as a useful transit country for Turkey to supply Italy and Greece. The Albanian parliament is due to decide on approval for the project in June.

Earlier this year, Bojaxhi said Albania would consume between 1.6 and 2 Gm3 a year by 2015, if a new pipeline or LNG terminal were built. He also pointed out Albania’s natural advantages in gas storage – depleted gas fields and salt domes which could provide 1.1 Gm3 of gas storage capacity.

The US Export Import Bank, a government agency, has said it is aware of the project and has issued two letters of interest inviting the proponents to apply; one several years ago and one last month. « It’s the kind of project we would be willing to consider, » a spokesman told The Heren Report. HW


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