According to documents filed with the parliamentary committee, the regasification terminal will have a capacity of 8 billion cubic meters a year, and be located 15-30 kilometers offshore.
"It is still not known where the gas terminal will be built. Certainly, it will be in a zone where we have disused platforms. There are a lot of options in the Adriatic," Scaroni said.
"It will take some years to complete. We will have it available after 2010," he said.
Italy is aiming to build a series of LNG import terminals, in addition to Eni's single Italian terminal near La Spezia in the northeast, and to cut reliance on pipeline imports.
Industry officials said they believe the investments are part of Eni's usual three-year strategic plan, to be updated in early 2007, but were unable to say what the other areas of investment are.
In further comments, Scaroni said the platform will be floating and moored to the other platforms, using technology developed by its engineering unit Saipem SpA.
"The plant will be built in an area where we have disused platforms from exhausted fields, with pipes that go to the land, thus reducing the environmental impact," he said.
Eni will probably incorporate partners in the project, and hopes to announce further details soon, when agreed, he said.
On Italy becoming a European gas "hub", Scaroni said that while this idea is "seductive" it has been "overtaken by events."
Citing the example of Spain, he said: "There are countries in which they discuss a lot less but where things get done," while in Italy "there are discussions for 20 years and nothing gets done."
Industry sources have said that approval by the government of as many four or five LNG import terminals would provide for more than just Italy's gas needs.
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