ArcelorMittal Italia to temporarily reduce steel production at Taranto: sources

ArcelorMittal Italia, the largest Italian flat steel producer, has reached agreement with its employee unions to temporarily reduce output at its Taranto site in the south of the country, with around 50% of its workforce set to stay at home in response to stringent government measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, sources close to the mill told S&P Global Platts.

As a result of the move, only 3,800 workers will remain on site at the facility in Ilva, sources said.

ArcelorMittal Italia declined to comment on the matter Tuesday.

The number 2 blast furnace at Taranto will be temporarily halted this week as well as the facility’s number 1 melting shop, the sources said.

Crude steel production will be around 8,500 mt/day, with only two blast furnaces — numbers 1 and 4 — working, the sources said.

Rolling mill 1 will continue to be shut down, with the facility’s heavy plate mill also set to stop working as of Tuesday, the sources added.

Around 300 people will work from home and those that continue to work in the mill will wear masks as well as having their temperature checked, the sources said. Thousands of protective masks are expected to arrive this week, while the company will implement more deep cleaning of its various departments, the sources said.

According to industry sources, ArcelorMittal’s site in Genoa, in the northwest of Italy, where the company rolls the Taranto coil, will also suspend production.

The northern parts of Italy have been hit worse by the coronavirus outbreak, in particular the districts of Brescia and Bergamo in Lombardy, the country’s industrial heart.

Separately, Tenaris-Dalmine, the largest global seamless tube producer, has temporarily halted its Bergamo output, an industry source told Platts.

The company wasn’t immediately available for comment on the matter.

In addition, longs producer Feralpi has this week also announced the temporary shutdown of its mill in Lonato, according to an official note seen by Platts.

Longs producer Riva shut down its mills based in Brescia last week, along with section producers Duferdofin-Nucor, Alfa Acciai, Ferrosider and Valsabbia.

— Annalisa Villa