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E.ON Ruhrgas to participate in new LNG terminal

International gas company E.ON Ruhrgas has signed a basic agreement on a new liquid natural gas terminal in Le Havre, France with French power and gas supplier Poweo and terminal operator CIM.

Essen, Germany-headquartered E.ON Ruhrgas will hold a 24.5% stake in the project company, which will be called Gaz de Normandie and will be based in Paris, France. The new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal will have an annual capacity of approximately nine billion cubic meters and E.ON Ruhrgas' share will be three billion cubic meters a year.

After further studies and planning, the LNG terminal could start operating as early as 2011, the company said. E.ON Ruhrgas revealed that the total investment in the new LNG terminal amounts to roughly €500 million to €600 million. The company hopes that this venture will enhance its position on the European gas market. “The envisaged terminal in Le Havre will make it easier for us to supply gas to more customers on the French market.

It will also make us a more interesting partner for producers because it expands our portfolio of receiving terminals into a new region,” said Jochen Weise, member of the E.ON Ruhrgas board of management. Weise went on to say: “LNG is generally an important factor for Europe's future supply security. It also has good growth prospects in the increasingly global gas business.”

E.ON Ruhrgas' parent company, E.ON, is currently participating in a number of other LNG projects. Apart from the plans for building terminals in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, and on the Adriatic coast in Croatia, E.ON recently booked capacity on the Isle of Grain for the British LNG market. (