Edison SpA. said that IGI Poseidon SA., the company that will build the natural gas pipeline between Greece and Italy, was officially founded Wednesday.

IGI Poseidon is a 50-50 joint venture between Edison International Holding and Greece's state-owned Depa.

The pipeline, which is already in an advanced authorization phase both in Greece and Italy, will import 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the Caspian Sea.

Edison said construction of the pipeline will begin in 2009 and it will start operating in 2012.

Edison and Depa will invest about 500 million euros in the project.

Edison said it has started talks with upstream gas operators in Azerbaijan to secure gas supplies.

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