Italy's Micoperi to build gas terminal buoy off Hadera

The natural gas buoy has become critical with the disruptions in Egyptian gas deliveries since February.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Micoperi Marine Contractors srl will probably win the tender to build natural gas buoy, which will enable Israel to import natural gas to replace Egyptian gas. The NIS 500 million project is scheduled to begin deliveries by the end of 2012.

When completed, the buoy will enable Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) to make up the shortfall in gas since the cut-off of Egyptian gas in the aftermath of the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, and the attacks on gas pipelines in Sinai.

The natural gas buoy became critical for the Israeli economy with the disruptions in Egyptian gas deliveries beginning in February. The buoy's importance increased further with the faster than planned depletion of Israel's sole source, the Yam Tethys reservoir, due to higher pumping to meet the gas shortage.

So long as the natural gas shortage persists, IEC has to use more expensive and polluting diesel and industrial oil to generate electricity. The buoy should save electricity consumers $500 million a year.

The gas terminal buoy will be positioned ten kilometers offshore from the coal terminal at IEC's Orot Rabin Power Station in Hadera. A gasification ship owned by Excelerate Energy Inc. of the US will moor with the buoy to convert liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivered by tankers back into gas, which will be delivered onshore by a special pipeline. The project will be able to supply 1.5-2 billion cubic meters of gas a year. At its peak, Egypt's East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) delivered 2.1 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Israel.

IEC is responsible for the purchase of natural gas and importing it to Israel, and National Gas Pipeline Company is responsible for building the infrastructures. Both are government companies.

The buoy is manufactured by Norway's APL - Advanced Production and Loading AS is the only buoy that can be moored with Excelerate's gasification ship.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 26, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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