Invitalia and ArcelorMittal Italia plan to resume operations of Ilva’s blast furnace (BF) no. 5 and increase the Italian steel company’s output to 5mn mt per year by the end of 2021.
In a meeting with Italian trade unions this week, the two new shareholders of Ilva outlined a four-year plan aimed at ramping up Ilva’s operations and making it a profitable entity. The plan also includes the construction of an electric arc furnace and raising the company’s production to 8mn mt by 2025.
Moreover, by the end of this year, the company also plans to resume operations of BF No.1 at 100pc capacity, BF No. 2, once it restarts next month, at 90pc capacity, and BF No. 4 at 85pc capacity, according to media reports.
Outlining the break-up of the total investment agreed under the new partnership, Invitalia and AM Italia noted that in 2021, the two shareholders will invest €310mn and €400mn each year between 2022 and 2024. The company will get a further investment of €300mn in 2025, reports indicated.
However, trade unions remain wary about the plans. Roberto Benaglia, secretary-general of the Italian trade union Fim Cisl, who attended the meeting, said in a statement on the union’s website that the financial structure of the company still remains shaky as both shareholders plan to use up the social safety nets provided by the Italian government over the next five years. He asked for an indispensable union agreement to protect the workers against any potential financial ramifications over the next few years.