Italian authorities have rejected a request by the extraordinary commissioners of the former Ilva company to carry out remedial work on blast furnace No. 2 at the Taranto mill now run by ArcelorMittal Italia. The furnace will now be shut down, the steelmaker says in a note monitored by Kallanish.
ArcelorMittal Italia is investigating the repercussions that the decision may have for the Taranto plant. It hopes that an alternative solution may be found to the closure as BF 2 is an integral part of the Taranto site it says, although the steelmaker is not party to the legal procedure.
The order by the authorities to shut down the furnace was passed in early July (see Kallanish 10 July).
ArcelorMittal now finds itself in a difficult situation with its Italian acquisition. The new Italian government is trying to make the company take responsibility for costs arising from environmental issues which arose before the site was acquired from Ilva. Previous reports have suggested that, under the terms of the acquisition, the ArcelorMittal group may be able to relinquish control of the mill in early September, should a solution not be found.