The Italian government is actively working to authorise as soon as possible the payment of the first instalment of €400 million ($472m) towards the relaunch of the Taranto steelworks, says state investment vehicle Invitalia.
This comes in response to ArcelorMittal’s announcement this week of further production cuts at the Taranto site following Invitalia’s failure to provide funds within the agreed timeline (see Kallanish 23 March).
ArcelorMittal signed last year a binding agreement with Invitalia to form a 50-50 public-private partnership to operate Taranto. Invitalia agreed to invest in ArcelorMittal’s Taranto operating subsidiary, AM InvestCo, in two tranches. The first investment of €400m was to be made by 5 February 2021.
In a letter to ArcelorMittal obtained by Kallanish, Invitalia states: “With regard to your specific allegations, we reiterate that the amount to be used for the investment must be provided to Invitalia by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.” The signatory of the letter, Invitalia chief executive Domenico Arcuri, adds the firm is waiting for the assessment of the responsible ministry.
Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal Italia has reportedly told unions it will not go through with the further production cuts announced this week, although this has not yet been put in writing.
Natalia Capra France