Steel Mills

ArcelorMittal Ilva Acquisition Delayed Until September

Written by Sandy Williams

ArcelorMittal’s acquisition of Italian steel plant Ilva has been delayed until Sept. 15 as government officials continue to review terms of the deal.

ArcelorMittal has agreed to buy and fix the pollution plagued mill from the Italian government for €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion). The company said it will invest €2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) to fix the environmental problems and modernize the plant, but wants to cut about 4,000 jobs by 2023. The plant currently employs 14,000 people.

Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio, whose party favors closing the plant, wants more time to evaluate the environmental, social, economic and employment impact of the sale to ArcelorMittal. “I am evaluating every possible impact related to the decisions I will have to make,” said Di Maio.

ArcelorMittal acknowledged that the delay is within the terms of the contract: “The deadline extension is provided for within the terms of ArcelorMittal’s contract with the Italian government for the sale and purchase of Ilva. ArcelorMittal remains committed to reaching a satisfactory agreement with trade unions, in order to build a shared and sustainable future for Ilva. ArcelorMittal confirms its commitment to relaunching Ilva from an industrial, environmental and social perspective.”

“Between now and the extended deadline, it is critical that the environmental projects, which have already been initiated by Ilva, continue as planned. These projects include coverage of the raw material stockyards and conveyor belts, and revamping the coking plants.”

The Taranto facility is Europe’s largest steelworks with 15 production units and 8 million metric tons of production capacity. Formerly owned by Riva Group, the assets were seized by the Italian government in 2013 in connection with criminal activity associated with environmental disasters at the mill. Emissions from the plant were found to contribute to high mortality rates in the Taranto area from cancer and respiratory diseases. Since then, the plant has been under special administration by the Italian government. 

ArcelorMittal plans to upgrade the mill with low-carbon technologies and will use cleaner burning DRI whenever economically feasible. Steel production will be limited to 6 million tons per year until environmental upgrades are approved by Italy’s EPA equivalent. Once the mill is in compliance and ramps up, crude steel production will increase to 8 million metric tons per year. Finished steel shipments are targeted to increase to 9.5 million metric tons by 2023. Production will be supplemented by imported slabs and hot rolled coil to keep Ilva’s finishing facilities at maximum utilization and preserve jobs.

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