Acciaierie d’Italia in serious financial trouble, says minister

Acciaierie d’Italia (ADI), the joint venture formerly known as Ilva between ArcelorMittal and state financial body Invitalia, is going through “strong financial trouble and a serious production situation,” made in Italy minister Adolfo Urso has said during a Q&A session at the Senate in Rome.

The company has piled up several million in debt to some of its main suppliers, including large Italian energy companies Snam and Eni. The steelmakers’ output has collapsed from 10 million tonnes in 2005 to approximately 3mt this year, when the target of the industrial plan was to reach 6mt, Urso said. He pointed to the lack of a clear industrial plan to stop the company’s decline.

A source close to the company who spoke to Kallanish believes the steelmaker is at risk of bankruptcy unless the government injects the necessary funds to nationalise it. However, Urso repeated at the hearing what other ministries previously said – that the government does not intend to nationalise the steelmaker and, in order to save it, a clear industrial plan is urgently needed.

In November, workers in Taranto, ADI’s main steelmaking facility, went on strike to protest against the perceived lack of government support. They are calling for swift state intervention to nationalise the company. Amid a liquidity crisis, ADI’s management recently decided to suspend its use of contractors. This, on top of almost 3,000 workers being temporarily laid off, is putting in doubt production continuity. In 2021, ADI posted a turnover of €3.3 billion ($3.4 billion), up from €1.6 billion in 2020. Last year, the company produced 4.1mt of crude steel, an increase from 3.4mt in 2020 (see Kallanish passim).

ADI confirmed Urso’s speech to Kallanish but declined to comment.

Natalia Capra France