Italian government postpones due diligence for JSW Piombino

The Italian government’s proposed investment into JSW Steel’s Piombino steelmaking facility has been postponed by two months, much to the frustration of trade unions.

The government plans to become an investor in JSW Italy through its financial arm, Invitalia. Invitalia and JSW signed a binding agreement in recent months before due diligence started, but the due diligence has been pushed back from December into 2022, authorities announced at a meeting with unions at the Ministry for Economic Development (Mise) in Rome this week.

A union source tells Kallanish that the parties involved were supposed to discuss the new industrial plan at the meeting, but the company did not submit it. The government will extend furloughs for Piombino workers past their scheduled expiration date of 7 January.

However, at the meeting unions told officials they have lost trust in JSW as it is withholding all promised investments and waiting for the Italian government’s cash injection without detailing a clear plan for the steelworks’ future. They have asked minister Giancarlo Giorgetti to find an alternative solution.

Italian steel producers’ association Federacciai is against the Italian government investing in JSW’s Italian facility. “I reiterate my respect for Sajjan Jindal … However, I don’t understand what he really wants to do with Piombino, also because in three years, as Federacciai, we have never had the opportunity to meet him and discuss, not even with his collaborators,” association president Alessandro Banzato stated at its annual meeting in Milan attended by Kallanish in October.

Invitalia is also buying a majority stake in Italian steelmaker Acciaierie d’Italia, formerly known as ArcelorMittal Italia.

Natalia Capra France