‘The timing makes sense,’ says a project source. ‘By then, the GTL [gas-to-liquids] borrowing [for the Qatar Petroleum/ Sasolventure] will have been concluded and all the outstanding Italian regulatory issues relating to the SPA [sales and purchase agreement] with Edisonshould have been resolved.’ The regulatory issues relate to the gas receiving terminal and the onshore pipeline infrastructure in Italy.

Due to be completed in late 2003, construction of train 3 is well under way and is being financed out of equity. The Japanese/Italian group of Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsui & Companyand Snamprogettiis carrying out the onshore package, while the offshore work is being performed by Dubai-based J Ray McDermott Middle East. Train 4 will be carried out by the same contractors under options contained in the train 3 contracts.

Train 3 is being built to meet RasGas’ SPA with India’s Petronet LNGfor 7.5 million t/y, while the train 4 output will primarily meet the 3.5 million-t/y commitment with Edison.

BNP Paribasis the financial adviser for trains 3 and 4.