ECONOMY

Greece-Italy gas project signed

ROME (Reuters) – Italian energy company Edison will get 80 percent of the capacity of a planned Greece-Italy gas pipeline while Greece’s DEPA will get 20 percent, Edison said yesterday. The Poseidon pipeline, due to be operational by 2012, will have an annual capacity of about 8 billion cubic meters. It will be linked to the existing Turkey-Greece pipeline that brings gas from Azerbaijan’s Shakh Deniz field. Ministers from Turkey, Greece and Italy signed an agreement in Rome yesterday for the construction of the pipeline which will cost -400 million ($549 million), to be shared by Edison and DEPA. The pipeline will provide Italian consumers with a major alternative supplier to the former state monopoly ENI and will provide Italy with an additional source of gas other than established providers Russia and Algeria. «For Italy… the pipeline will be the first infrastructure for importing gas which is independent of the traditional operator and will therefore mean a significant increase in competition to the benefit of all consumers,» Edison CEO Umberto Quadrino said. Italy’s biggest energy company ENI last month announced a joint venture with Russia’s Gazprom to build a pipeline called the «South Stream» from Russia to Europe, bypassing Turkey. «Edison and DEPA have launched negotiations with several producer countries in the Caspian Sea area and with those involved in the pipeline’s transit, in order to ensure supply of natural gas to the new pipeline,» Edison said in a statement.