|Equal joint venture partners, Po Valley Energy (ASX: “PVE”) and Edison, in consultation with Italy’s Energy Ministry, have voluntarily relinquished the Bernaga licence application area north of Milan.|
Although the joint venture was granted ‘preliminary award’ of Bernaga (formerly called Ossola) in October 2006, the licence remained at the application stage, awaiting full grant.
“Part of the Bernaga licence area covers a nature reserve close to urban areas, and the approvals process generated local concerns about formal grant of an exploration licence,” Po Valley’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Masterman, said today.
“We took note of these concerns and concluded that the prospects for the normal Italian environmental impact evaluation of the Bernaga application, fact-based community consultation, and therefore for full licence grant, were low,” Mr Masterman said.
“Exploration within the licence application would have involved minimal environmental impact, including making use of former industrial areas — backed by Po Valley’s track record of conducting our affairs in full compliance and sensitivity with all environmental laws, regulations and values.”
“Our decision to withdraw from the Bernaga application was not made lightly and, while disappointing, was judged the most practical course of action.”
“The Company remains convinced of the value to Italy of partly addressing its energy security through environmentally sensitive domestic exploration.”
Po Valley’s other preliminary awarded licences in Italy are not impacted.
Mr Masterman said the Company’s main priority was the commencement in the coming months of its first Italian gas production — from the Sillaro and Castello fields.
Po Valley Energy
0417 851 303
Field Public Relations
(08) 8234 9555 / 0414 822 631