Italy approves rescue funds for Acciaierie d’Italia

With its new decree “Urgent Measures for Strategic National Installations,” the Italian government has approved the injection of €1 billion ($1.06 billion) into troubled steelmaker Acciaierie d’Italia (ADI), the joint venture formerly known as Ilva between ArcelorMittal and state financial body Invitalia, Kallanish learns from the government. A first cash injection of €680 million will be followed by a second €320m instalment. The funds will help Invitalia to become the majority shareholder in 2024.

Made in Italy minister Adolfo Urso told the Council of Ministers the new agreement between ADI’s shareholders ArcelorMittal and Invitalia provides for investments related to the industrial development of Taranto, the relaunch of the production site, with employment guarantees and production targets higher than those achieved by Acciaierie d’Italia in the last two years, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers says in a note obtained by Kallanish.

ADI is going through a strong liquidity crisis that is threatening its survival. The company has piled up several million in debt to some of its main suppliers, including large Italian energy companies Snam and Eni. Its output collapsed from 10 million tonnes in 2005 to approximately 3mt last year, when the target of the industrial plan was to reach 6mt.

Amid a liquidity crisis and several workers’ strikes in November and December, ADI’s management decided to suspend its use of contractors. This, on top of almost 3,000 workers being temporarily laid off, is putting in doubt production continuity. In 2021, ADI posted a turnover of €3.3 billion, up from €1.6 billion in 2020. In 2021, the company produced 4.1mt of crude steel, an increase from 3.4mt in 2020.

Natalia Capra France