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Italian city of Piombino files appeal against LNG terminal project

(Reuters) - The Italian city of Piombino filed an appeal on Thursday before an administrative court against the government-backed project for a new LNG terminal in the Tuscan port.

The appeal includes "a precautionary request" to suspend work on the terminal, the municipality said in a statement, adding that it was confident that judges would quickly rule on the request.

Italian gas grid operator Snam plans to start construction works on the pipeline connecting the LNG terminal to the grid by the end of November.

Piombino mayor Francesco Ferrari has led local protests against the project, claiming risks to safety, the environment and local businesses, including fish-farming.

"We are aware of the energy emergency and that new gas supply measures are in the national interest, but this cannot disregard safety guarantees for the community in Piombino," he said in the statement.

Ferrari is a member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party. The government is pushing for the LNG terminal as part of plans to diversify Italy's energy supplies in the wake of Russia's war on Ukraine.

The terminal needs to be operational by the end of March to help Italy replace dwindling Russian gas supplies, Claudio Descalzi, CEO of energy group Eni, has said, adding the timely completion of the project was crucial to re-fill the country's gas storages by next winter.

Eni will use the terminal to import LNG.

(Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro and Silvia Ognibene, editing by Alvise Armellini and Keith Weir)

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Editorial Comment
-Lee Nichols
Modern society would not be possible without the use of pipelines to transport natural gas, crude oil and finished products to demand centers.

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