EDF, Total to approve LNG terminal by year end: minister

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French energy groups EDF and Total have agreed to approve plans for a liquid natural gas terminal in the northern French city of Dunkirk by the end of the year, the French industry minister said Tuesday.

"Each side has made a commitment so that the final plan would be endorsed by the end of the year," Christian Estrosi told a news conference after speaking by telephone with the heads of the two companies.

EDF said last Thursday that it was postponing the project indefinitely while insisting that it had not been cancelled.

According to Estrosi, the plans had been on hold because the financing had not yet been secured.

"There are several European partners, it's a European project," Estrosi said.

The terminal is designed to partially compensate the loss of jobs linked to Total's decision to close a refinery in Dunkirk.

© 2010 AFP

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