The UK companys Brindisi project has a valid authorization permit granted some four years ago after a formal process based on an Environmental Impact Study officially approved by the Italian Ministry of Environment and with the consensus of all authorities, both local and national.
Only last week, during a meeting held at Italys Ministry for Economic Development, the Ministry disclosed to participants that three previously approved LNG import terminals, Brindisi, Livorno and Rovigo, should be completed to help ensure security and diversification of supply and meet growing demand of natural gas.
Up to 10 percent of current Italian natural gas demand could be met by a fully operational Brindisi LNG terminal alone.
BG has plans to import 6 million tonnes per annum of LNG to the Italian terminal, which would be located in the outer harbour of the port of Brindisi. The engineering, procurement and construction contract was awarded to an Italian-led consortium in 2004 and offsite work began in 2005 to meet an initial scheduled opening of 2009.
With its law suit Brindisi LNG is now trying to halt what is expected to be a lengthy review of the project, called a conference of services, by officials from state ministries and local administrations.
We maintain that it fully complied with the Italian Governments procedural requirements and Italian law in securing the authorization for the terminal in Brindisi, said project spokeswoman Antonella Silipigni.
BG considers the preliminary conclusions reached by the Italian authorities to reopen the Conference of Services as being without foundation. Therefore, the company will challenge any actions relating to this, she added.
The suit challenges preliminary conclusions reached on March 7 and March 22 by the Italian authorities to re-open the Conference of Services in order to review the grounds under which the Brindisi regasification import terminal was granted full authorization in 2003. The challenge was filed on June 5 before the TAR Lazio, Section of Rome, said Silipigni.
"We will continue to pursue this import project and will continue to protect an investment that was undertaken with the appropriate Government authorization, she added.