Taranto’s situation remains complicated: Antonio Gozzi

The future of the Taranto integrated steelmaking site of Acciaierie d’Italia (ADI), the former Ilva, remains uncertain. On 2 December, a key meeting will be held to discuss the future of the company, majorly controlled now by ArcelorMittal, with the participation of the state owned company Invitalia.

The meeting between the parties takes place following strikes by the company’s workers to call for the government to support ADI financially and take full control of the company. Amid a liquidity crisis, ADI’s management recently 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. The steelmaker is said not to be paying many of its debts.

“The situation in Taranto remains very difficult. There is a majority shareholder (ArcelorMittal) that is not supporting financially the company. Similarly, the minority shareholder (Invitalia) has troubles injecting money in a company that remains run by ArcelorMittal,” Antonio Gozzi, president of Federacciai, said during an event in Genova this week attended by Kallanish.

Invitalia was expected to take over the majority control of ADI in May through a new injection of capital, but this move has been delayed.

Meanwhile, the Taranto plant continues to run at reduced capacity.

“It is now some 12 years that capex investments in the plant have not been done,” Gozzi added. “The Riva family used to invest some $350 million of capex each year before 2010.”

According to the executive, the Taranto mill needs the rebuilding of blast furnace number 5, the largest in Europe, as well as one coil and plate rolling mill.

“In March 2022, the company said it would ramp up output to 5.7 million tonnes; we are now at slightly over 3mt,” a union said in a note denouncing the “dramatic situation.”

Emanuele Norsa Italy