The Italian government may take a majority stake in ArcelorMittal Italia through the country’s inward investment and economic development agency, Invitalia, owned by the Ministry of Economy, according to local trade unionists on October 7.

 

ArcelorMittal agreed to buy the business in 2018 under a hire-purchase agreement for €1.8bn ($2.1bn) and to invest another €2.4 billion to clean up and modernize the plant, which has been plagued by environmental issues.

 

However, a recent change in the law removed ArcelorMittal’s protection in implementing the environmental clean-up plan with the company rumoured to want to withdraw from the hire-purchase agreement for a €500mn penalty. 

 

According to union sources, the company restarted its #1 & #2 zinc-coating lines this week, which had been suspended since July, together with the #2 hot-rolling mill. Its #2 plate rolling mill is expected to restart on October 12.

 

ArcelorMittal Italia’s Taranto steelworks has an installed capacity of 11mn mt of crude steel per year and operates four blast furnaces.

 

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