Italy, Greece set to sign gas pipeline agreement on Nov. 4

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will sign on November 4 a formal agreement with Greece to build a natural gas pipeline between the two countries, paving the way to the 950-million-euro ($1.15-billion) project, the Italian Industry Ministry announced yesterday. The project is part of a pipeline which will transport gas from the Caspian Sea via Turkey and Greece to Italy, feeding Europe’s growing demand for imported gas. Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Italian Industry Minister Claudio Scajola will sign the intergovernmental agreement at a meeting in the southern Italian city of Lecce, together with Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, the ministry said in a statement. Scajiola will also sign a declaration of cooperation in energy with Greece and Turkey. Greek gas utility DEPA and Italy’s second-biggest power group Edison will construct the pipeline, expected to be completed in early 2010. The project’s estimated cost is about 950 million euros and includes 600 kilometers (375 miles) of pipelines across northern Greece and 220 km (138 miles) under the Adriatic Sea. The construction of the 300-km (188 miles) long Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline is expected to be completed in early 2007.