QP and ExxonMobil have also agreed to purchase a 45 per cent stake each in Edison LNG, the Edison subsidiary which is implementing the project to build a 7 million-8 million-t/y regasification terminal at Rovigo, on the northeast coast of Italy, in a deal worth Eur 10 million ($11.8 million). Edison will retain a 10 per cent interest.

The terminal is scheduled for completion in 2007. The award of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract is expected in early 2004 and an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is due in March.

The decision to take a controlling stake in the Rovigo facility is indicative of a new strategy by Doha to be present right along the LNG chain. QP and ExxonMobil are also planning to own an LNG terminal in Wales to receive the output from the Qatargas IIproject, which will serve the UK market (MEED 17:10:03).

The Italian LNG will be supplied from the 7.8 million-t/y fourth train being built by QP/ExxonMobil joint venture Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II (RasGas II)at Ras Laffan. In mid-October, QP and ExxonMobil signed a heads of agreement on a project to supply the US market with 15.6 million t/y of LNG from RasGas II.