A former oil refinery in Pembrokeshire is one step closer to being converted into a multi-million pound terminal for gas from the Gulf.
Milford Haven's economy has suffered in recent years
Oil company ExxonMobil has submitted an application to build the complex on the old Esso refinery site at Herbranston near Milford Haven.
The terminal would receive and store liquid natural gas (LNG) before distributing it by pipeline to the national gas supply.
Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority are expected to take a number of months before making a decision.
If approved, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum would bring in LPG from oilfields in the small state of Qatar to the facility.
If it gets the go-ahead, the terminal will be built in two phases, with the first starting in 2004 to open in 2007.
The second is projected to begin in 2006 to be ready for 2009.
The completed facilities would together process about 15m tonnes of LNG each year, it is anticipated.
A spokeswoman for ExxonMobil said the project would make a "major contribution to UK gas supply security" and promised a boost for the regional and local economy.
However, she added there was no guarantee the project would proceed until a final decision on the location had been taken.
A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said the authority could not comment on the application while it was under consideration.
A number of environmental impact reports will have to be prepared before the council makes its decision.
In February, the authority gave its backing to a similar project at Waterston near Milford Haven.
Dutch firm Petroplus is looking to build gas storage tanks for LNG and would create up to 500 jobs in the three-year construction process.
The company would then distribute gas to south and west Wales.
Final approval for that scheme is expected in June, but depends on the gas company Transco extending its pipeline as far as Milford Haven.