Pittini’s Ferriere Nord suspends work at Osoppo plant in Italy on high energy costs: source

Long steel producer Pittini Group’s Ferriere Nord has suspended work at the Osoppo plant in Italy until Oct. 2 due to high energy costs, a union source told S&P Global Commodity Insights Aug. 30.

The company had communicated to unions that it would suspend work for 751 workers at the plant from Aug. 29 to Oct. 2, a representative from the Italian Union of Metalworkers, or Uilm, said.

Energy prices have been strong in Italy and year-ahead Italian futures on the EEX exchange settled at Eur525/MWh Aug. 29, up 44% since the start of the month.

The company will suspend and/or reduce working hours and use the Cassa Integrazione Guadagni Ordinaria, or Ordinary Wage Guarantee Fund, the representative said, which is a wage guarantee tool that can be used in the case of temporary suspension or reduction of working activities.

“There will not be a total closure of plant, rather a partial,” they said, adding that there would be no dismissals within the end of the year.

Pittini did not respond to S&P Global’s request for confirmation.

The steelmaker’s Osoppo’s 2.2 million mt/year electric arc furnace was installed in September 2019 with a larger diameter to reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency of the smelting cycle, the company said previously.

Platts assessment of TSI Northwest Europe Rebar was down Eur30/mt week on week to Eur950/mt ex-works on Aug. 24.

Deals heard over the week to Aug. 24 from Italy to Germany were booked around Eur930-940/mt delivered Germany. Large European producers are targeting sharp increases in long steel prices amid a jump in energy and transport costs.

— Jacqueline Holman, Viral Shah