Steven Paul Craig, 57, allegedly attacked Jacqueline Kirk at Dolphin Square in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on April 18 1998.
Ms Kirk died aged 62 in August 2019 having suffered serious burns in the alleged incident.
On Monday, Craig appeared at Bristol Crown Court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name.
Prosecutor Ramin Pakrooh told the court that Craig was arrested last week on Thursday June 3 on the charge of murdering Ms Kirk between April 18 1998 and August 23 2019.
Judge Peter Blair QC set a provisional date of January 24 for a four-week trial and remanded Craig in custody.
Craig, of Brailsford Road, York, will next appear at a pre-trial hearing on August 16.