Independent Proposes Plan for Rivara Underground Gas Storage Facility

Independent Resources plc says that its plans for its proposed Rivara underground gas storage facility (UGS) in Italy will include the generation of electricity from natural gas contained in Rivara – without burning the gas.

Engineers at Independent Gas Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Independent Resources, have devised a process to extract clean energy from the volumes of natural gas that will be stored more than 2,500 meters below ground within the Rivara UGS in northern Italy. As gas is withdrawn from the storage facility, the flow pressure will drive turbines that will generate electricity for use onsite and for export to the Italian grid.

The preliminary engineering design to exploit Rivara's gas pressure involves four turbines with a total generating capacity of some 24MW, much of which would be operating as baseload electricity during peak demand periods for up to 85,000 MWh per year. Baseload power in Italy is currently averaging around 70 euros per MWh.

Completion of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Rivara has been delayed slightly in order to incorporate this innovative proposal in the development plan, and is now expected to be submitted by mid-June. The Italian government and regulatory authorities are encouraging Independent Resources to advance plans for Rivara as quickly as possible in view of the country's increasingly severe gas supply constraints.

Independent Resources Executive Chairman Grayson Nash said: "We believe that this very significant enhancement to our overall development concept for Rivara will not only provide us with a valuable extra revenue stream, but it will also create a highly efficient and environmentally friendly source of additional energy to help meet Italy's ever-growing demand."

Independent Resources was admitted to AiM in December 2005. In addition to Rivara, its assets include the Fiume Bruna coal bed methane (CBM) permit in Italy and a 40% interest in the Ksar Hadada onshore permit in Tunisia.

Dr. Stephen Staley is Independent Resources' Managing Director and has reviewed and approved the content of the above. In a previous role Dr Staley was a Vice President of Cinergy Global Power where he led the development and acquisition of gas-fired and renewable power generation facilities and of gas and power transmission assets in Europe, Africa and Asia. He also founded Derwent Resources Limited, a consultancy company which advised on, inter alia, the development and construction of power stations around the world.

Dr. Staley holds a B.Sc.(Hons.) in geophysics from Edinburgh University and a Ph.D. in petroleum geology from Sheffield University. He is a qualified person within the definition of the AiM guidelines.