ArcelorMittal Italia ordered to turn off hot area in Taranto within 60 days

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 09:33:12 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

The Regional Administrative Court (TAR) of Lecce, Italy, has ordered the closure of the “hot area” at ArcelorMittal Italia's Taranto-based plant. This needs to be done within 60 days according to the ruling. The decision was made in order to prevent emissions from the plants and to protect the health of local citizens. ArcelorMittal, which manages the plant, has announced an immediate appeal to the Italian Council of State. The hot area includes the plant's blast furnaces, mineral storage areas, the coke plant, the steel mill, the area for managing steel materials, and the agglomeration area.

The reaction of Federacciai, the association representing Italian steel companies, came today, February 15. "We are deeply concerned about the sentence of the TAR of Lecce, which orders the shutdown of the hot area of the Taranto plant," president Alessandro Banzato stated. "Without going into the merits of the sentence, which will evidently be discussed in subsequent stages... the fear is that this act could stop or slow down the process of rehabilitation and the relaunch of the factory. While the works for the environmental improvement of the site are continuing, the complex activities for a production recovery are in progress, and this is fundamental not only for the national steel industry, but also in anticipation of the imminent entry of Invitalia into the capital of the company on the basis of an industrial plan that will start a gradual process of decarbonisation of the plant."

As reported previously, according to an agreement signed last December, the Italian state will assume a 50 percent share in the management of the Ilva facilities through an investment of €400 million. During a second phase, starting from 2022, when Invitalia will inject another €680 million into the company, the agency's stake will rise to 60 percent. ArcelorMittal will also invest up to €70 million, to retain a 40 percent shareholding. Production should increase from last year's 3.3 million mt to 5 million mt in 2021. The last step of the industrial plan is to reach production of 8 million mt in 2025, also thanks to the revamped blast furnace No. 5 and a new electric arc furnace which alone should contribute 2.5 million mt of production capacity.

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