ArcelorMittal Italia continues upgrade works despite uncertainty

ArcelorMittal Italia is carrying out maintenance and renovation work at its main Taranto plant despite speculation it will break the lease contract for the former Ilva. The company completed the replacement of converter exhausts at meltshop no.2 during the August summer break, Kallanish learns from company sources.

Workers in the maintenance department and contractors from the area of Taranto were employed to complete the complicated installation of 26 tonnes of structure at a height of 90 metres. The new exhausts will last for 20 years, the company explains.

Talks continue between the government and ArcelorMittal in an effort to find an agreement, retain the Italian investment and weather the current demand crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company will extend temporary layoffs for most of its Taranto employees for a further nine weeks starting this month. The layoff extension has been granted by the government to all Italian companies in response to the pandemic crisis (see Kallanish passim).

Trade unions, meanwhile, remain concerned by the fact the mill is still working at minimum utilisation, with 2020 expected to see crude steel output of below 4 million tonnes.