Source: Independent Resources
Independent Resources is currently seeking environmental approvals ahead of planned development of its Rivara gas storage project in Northern Italy. The company continues to work constructively to ensure full compliance with Italy's stringent environmental and planning regulations.
A new move by Italy's Ministry of Environment to engage the support of a recently enlarged group of specialists is expected both to accelerate the analytical time-frame of the Environmental Impact Assessment Commission (VIA Commission) and allow a more rigorous and in-depth analysis of the project.
Recent meetings between the Company and VIA Commission representatives allowed the Company and its technical team to illustrate the many technical aspects of the project to this enlarged group, which include geologists and gas storage facility specialists. They will help the VIA Commission to accelerate the examination of the more than 3,000 pages of material the Company submitted in September 2009. The Company welcomes this development as demonstrable proof the Ministry intends deploy the necessary resources to reach a conclusion soon.
Containing an estimated 3.2 billion cubic metres (110 bcf) of gas, Rivara's effective working capacity could add over 20% to peak deliverability into Italy's heavily strained supply network during the winter season. The Company has previously drawn attention to Ministerial and regulatory authority statements recognising the crucial importance of the project, in which the major Italian energy group ERG holds a 15% stake, but remains constantly aware of the need to cooperate and comply fully with the necessary processes in order to minimise chances of an uncertain outcome.
In addition to the latest move by the VIA Commission, the Technical Group of the Emilia Romagna Region Fire Brigade ("CTR") during July began the examination of the documentation the Company has submitted for their risk analysis of relevant safety incidents.
Separately, the Regional Command of the Fire Brigades has also officially notified the Company that its procedure for the storage facility's preliminary safety certification is due to conclude by the end of October 2010. This certification is required to secure the storage concession.
The Company continues to update documentary evidence and analysis formally required to conclude the storage concession procedure, and will update the market as and when it has material news to report in this regard.