A consortium of BP, Edison, and chemical company Solvay plan to construct a 290-Mmcf/d LNG terminal on the site of a former Solvay chemicals plant near Livorno. In January 2005, Italys environmental ministry approved plans for the construction of the project. However, local government leaders have expressed opposition to the project, which could delay its planned initial production date of 2012.

In March 2005, Spains Gas Natural (GN) presented plans to local officials for the construction of two LNG receiving terminals in Italy, located in the northern city of Trieste and the southern port of Taranto. Under its proposal, GN would build facilities at each location with production capacities of 770 Mmcf/d each, in order to fuel its plans to expand its presence in the Italian 
Natural Gas market. In the case of the Trieste site, Endesa would join with GN in the project, offloading much of the plants output for its nearby power plant. GN planned to complete the projects by 2010, though neither has yet to receive full regulatory approval.

Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement in August 2005 with Italys ERG to build an LNG receiving terminal next to ERGs 
Oil refinery at Priolo Gargallo, Sicily. Shell stated that, pending approval of government officials, it would begin construction of the $510 million, 770-Mmcf/d facility by 2007, for completion in 2010.

It is unclear if all of the proposed LNG projects will actually proceed to completion. It is unlikely that Italys domestic market could absorb this much new natural gas supply, especially considering the expansion of piped gas imports from North Africa. However, there has been some talk of using Italy as a natural gas hub, landing LNG there for re-export to the rest of Europe. ExxonMobil and Qatar 
Petroleum each hold 45 percent stakes in the proposed North Adriatic LNG project, an effort led by Italys Edison to build an LNG receiving terminal on Italys northern Adriatic coast. The project consists of a 770-Mmcf/d, offshore regasification facility near Rovigo, using LNG supplied by the RasGas II gas liquefaction project in Qatar. In May 2005, the consortium awarded a contract for construction of the main LNG recieiving terminal to Norways Aker Kvaerner. Edison has stated that it expects initial production from the project by 2007. 

The Italian city of Livorno, on Italys central west coast, has been considered as a site for two LNG proposals. In May 2004, the Offshore LNG Terminal (OLT) consortium received environmental approval for its proposed LNG receiving terminal near Livorno; OLT, composed of Golar LNG and Italys CrossGas, plans to permanently moor a standard LNG tanker offshore, convert it into a floating storage and regasification unit, then connect it to the coast via a sub-sea Pipeline. Once completed, the Livorno offshore facility will have an initial capacity of 390-Mmcf/d. In March 2006, Endesa purchased a 25 percent stake in the project. Construction is slated to begin in mid 2006, with completion by 2008.

World's first offshore gravity-based LNG terminal
Our GE 10-1 dual-fuel turbine technology is powering the world's first gravity-based offshore LNG terminal, operated by Adriatic LNG, located 17 km offshore from the town of Rovigo, near Venice, on Italy's northeast coast. The terminal is moored in 30-m depths and is the world's first use of an artificial-island GBS for offshore LNG. 

At the heart of the engineering solution is an enormous reinforced concrete box that rests on the sea floor and houses two LNG storage tanks. The project also marks the first ever offshore deployment of a GE10-1 dual-fuel, low-emissions gas turbine system.

The LNG terminal's operations are powered by three GE10 low-emission gas turbines – two GE10-1 single gas modules and one one GE10-1 dual-fuel gas turbine, providing a total power output of 30 MW to provide optimum energy efficiency. In addition, all three units feature GE's advanced Dry Low NOx (DLN) combustion system that achieves NOx emissions below 15 parts per million – enabling the mega-terminal to meet the stringent emissions reduction and environmental regulations prescribed by the Italian regulator.

Tony Mercer, Project Manager, Aker Kvaerner says "GE Oil & Gas has risen to the challenge of delivering a fully modularized gas turbine power generation system that will help us save significant time during the construction and commissioning stages of the Adriatic LNG project. GE's positive attitude and desire to deliver to a tight production schedule was instrumental in overcoming many challenges. We look forward to working with GE Oil & Gas on future projects."

The new gas terminal will increase Italy's regasification capacity by 200%. Ten stories high and covering an area larger than two soccer fields, the facility has two LNG tanks with a combined annual capacity of 8 billion cubic meters – representing around 10% of Italy's annual gas demand. The terminal receives LNG shipments from Qatar (80%), Egypt and Trinidad (remainder) twice a week. The LNG is regasified at the terminal, then transported to an onshore metering station before entering Italy's gas network.

For more about the Adriatic LNG project, please click here.

Italy is the third largest market for gas in the European Union, next to Germany and the UK. Gas consumption in Italy is forecast to rise from 73 BCM in 2003 to 100 BCM/y by 2010, fuelled in part by a boom in gas-fired power generation. Algeria and Russia are currently top gas suppliers to the Italian market.