Spanish energy provider Endesa has signed a deal to join Italian multi-utility Amga, supplier to the city of Genoa, in building an off-shore LNG plant near the coast of Livorno in Italy.

Endesa and Amga will take operational control of Off-Shore LNG Toscana (OLT), the company responsible for the development and operation of the plant, with a joint 51% stake split equally between them. The remainder of the capital is in the hands of local businessmen.

The new LNG plant will have capacity of around 4 billion cubic meters a year and Endesa will take 50% of this, guaranteeing much of its current fuel needs in Italy. It is expected to come on stream in mid-2007 at an estimated total investment cost of E400 million.

This project is in line with Endesa’s strategic plan for securing gas supplies, and is the latest addition to a portfolio of highly competitive suppliers for the group’s Italian plants and could potentially support the rollout of its French industrial plan.