Italian state bodies to approve new LNG terminal - commissioner

FLORENCE, Italy, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Italian state bodies, including the influential National Health Institute, are expected to give a positive opinion, albeit conditional, on setting up a new terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), the special commissioner for the project said.

State bodies, which discussed the issue earlier on Thursday in Rome, will unveil their opinion on Oct. 21, when they meet with local entities and the company responsible for the project, said commissioner Eugenio Giani.

A positive opinion would be an important step in the permitting process for the floating LNG terminal, which still has to secure the go-ahead of local communities and the mayor of Piombino, the Italian port where the terminal is due to be moored.

Italian gas grid operator Snam (SRG.MI) bought the new floating storage and regasification vessel in June and aims to make it operational by the end of March.

The terminal is key to boost Italy's LNG import capacity and replace Russian gas with alternative supplies, the government has said.

Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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