La Republica reported that Lecce Regional Administrative Court directed Italy's largest domestic flat producer ArcelorMittal Italia on February 13 that it should shut within 60 days all hot end operations at its Taranto plant to curb emissions. . The decision was made in order to prevent emissions from the plants and to protect the health of local citizens. 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 decision was a surprise and to which the company, backed by the plants' unions and by industry associations, has said it quickly appealed to Italy's Council of State. Sources said it is possible the Council of State in the next couple of days temporarily suspend the court order.
The national unions of metalworkers Fim, Fiom and Uilm have expressed extreme concerns "The start of the stop will result in the gradual and irreversible destruction of the plants involved, the blocking of all rolling production due to lack of steel, the suspension of all remediation operations and planned environmental reconversion investments. There would also be safety risks for the company and the total blocking of production at the plant, would result in a fatal blow to the steel industry.”
This ruing if not overturned, coud derail implementation of an agreement signed last December, under which the Italian state will assume a 50% share in the management of the llva facilities through an investment of EUR 400 million. During a second phase, starting from 2022, when Invitalia will inject another EUR 680 million into the company, the agency's stake will rise to 60%. ArcelorMittal will also invest up to EUR 70 million, to retain a 40% shareholding. Production should increase from last year's 3.3 million tonnes to 5 million tonnes in 2021 and to 8 million tonnes in 2025
With limited existing availability of coils in the European market, this crisis could aggravate HR shortages in Italy