Metinvest chief says open to future Ilva involvement

Despite prioritising its future Italian flat steel mill in Piombino, Metinvest says it may consider in future the possibility of becoming a shareholder in troubled steelmaker Acciaierie d’Italia.

Metinvest is currently supplying Taranto with raw materials and sourcing slab from Taranto for its Italian facilities. “Today, Taranto is far below its capacity but there is potential,” Metinvest chief executive Yuriy Ryzhenkov says in an interview with Italian broadsheet Corriere della Sera. “The Italian government is looking for private investors … Our primary objective at the moment is Piombino. In the future, if we see an opportunity in Taranto, why not? We may look into it.”

He adds the Taranto plant is a very difficult case where an investor already exists and authorities are working to sort out issues with it. “There are many problems and I do not think that one investor can singlehandedly resolve them all … If the government wants to involve other players, we will carefully consider it. And if we can help, we will,” Ryzhenkov concludes.

Piombino was chosen as a location for Metinvest’s future flats plant also thanks to the strong commitment to the project from all local stakeholders, including local and central authorities, as well as the city. The project responds to the steelmaker’s need to replace its destroyed Mariupol facilities. According to the ceo, Metinvest as well as its partner Danieli, will invest significantly in the new facility but will seek the support of authorities and the EU, particularly for decarbonisation. The project will be a mix of private funds, debt and public subsidies.

In January, Italy’s Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MIMT), Adolfo Urso, Metinvest, equipment maker Danieli, the region of Tuscany and the city of Piombino signed an agreement to accelerate the troubled Piombino steelmaking site relaunch. This site is now part of JSW Italy.

The new facility will entail an investment of €2 billion ($2.1 billion) and produce 2.7 million tonnes/year of hot rolled coil from the electric arc furnace route. JSW and Metinvest will co-exist on the site without overlapping, as JSW would retain production of rails. The aim is to commission Metinvest’s prospective hot strip mill in Piombino by 2027 (see Kallanish passim).

Natalia Capra France , Emanuele Norsa Italy