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Italian court delays decision on Tuscan LNG terminal to July

ROME (Reuters) -An Italian administrative court has postponed until July 5 a decision on a complaint against a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal being set up in the Tuscan port of Piombino, the court said on Wednesday.

The new infrastructure is seen by the government as a key part of efforts to wean Italy off Russian gas.

Italian gas grid operator Snam, which is in charge of the project, said the works on the terminal would continue as planned. It declined to comment on the court's move.

The group is working flat out to have the floating terminal up and running by April to import LNG due to arrive from Africa.

An environment ministry official confirmed the works could continue.

The Piombino administration, led by mayor Francesco Ferrari, last year filed a legal challenge against the project, citing safety concerns for the local population and maritime traffic.

"With this postponement, the administrative court shows that our arguments did not deserve to be rejected but, if anything, to be examined in depth," Ferrari said in a statement.

The dispute pits Ferrari, who is from the right-wing Brothers of Italy party, against the coalition government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who leads the same party.

In Italy there are currently three LNG terminals with a total capacity of nearly 17 billion cubic metres (bcm) and the new vessel will add another 5 bcm per year.

The floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) dubbed Golar Tundra has left port in Singapore and is expected to arrive in Piombino in the coming weeks, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

(Reporting by Marco Carta, Silvia Ognibene, Francesca Landini and Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Francesca Landini; editing by Alvise Armellini and Keith Weir)