Italian government earmarks investment agency for Ilva relaunch

The prospect of ArcelorMittal leaving its Italian investment in former steelmaker Ilva is becoming more realistic. This comes after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared as “…absolutely unacceptable” the company’s latest industrial plan, which involves the possibility of cutting the steelworks’ workforce by half.

In a televised interview seen by Kallanish, Conte added that the government has a clear project in mind for the steelworks that remains essential for the country’s economy. He states that his administration intends to invest into and relaunch the steelmaker through its financial body Invitalia.

The latest industrial plan submitted by ArcelorMittal has been judged unacceptable also by economic development minister Stefano Patuanelli. According to the agreement that ArcelorMittal has with the Italian authorities, it is allowed to leave at the end of the year by paying €500 million ($566m). At present, 8,200 workers in Taranto are on temporary layoffs.

The new industrial plan that ArcelorMittal submitted for Ilva for 2020-2025 has been reviewed and adapted to the current crisis from the previous plan submitted in March. Over the period 2020-2025 the former Ilva’s crude steel output is to be pushed to 6-6.5 million tonnes/year, while the previous plan indicated 8mt as the target level. 3,300 jobs will be cut this year and the future is uncertain for the 1,600 workers from Ilva’s administration who remain on temporary furlough (see Kallanish passim).