UPDATE 1-French government backs Solvay's Clamadieu as Engie chairman - source


* Engie board meeting due on Tuesday

* Tues meeting could confirm Clamadieu as chairman -source (Adds further comments from source, detail)

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The French government is backing Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, chief executive of Belgian chemical group Solvay, as new chairman of gas and power group Engie , a source close to the French finance ministry said on Monday.

The source said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had met with Clamadieu this morning and that the French state, which owns 24.1 percent of Engie's capital, would support Clamadieu if he were to be proposed as chairman at a board meeting on Tuesday.

An Engie spokesman confirmed that the utility company's board will meet on Tuesday, but declined comment on a report by French newspaper Le Figaro which had earlier reported that the board was set to propose Clamadieu for the role.

Clamadieu would succeed Gerard Mestrallet, who built up the global utility through a series of mergers and acquisitions over the past two decades, and is set to retire in May.

Solvay declined to comment on the situation.

Clamadieu, who became CEO of Solvay in May 2012, is a French national. A graduate of one of France's elite "grandes ecoles" graduate schools, Clamadieu was chief executive of specialty chemicals group Rhodia, which merged into Solvay in 2011. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Benjamin Mallet in Paris and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta/Benoit van Overstraeten)