Political uncertainty delays Ilva relaunch

Posted on 01 June 2018

Source: Kallanish

Troubled Italian steelmaker Ilva is set to further boost output from its recently-relaunched heavy plate line at its site in Taranto. The complete relaunch of the company however remains on hold due to the continuing uncertainty in Italian politics, Kallanish learns from sources.

Plate production was restarted in May after having been halted for almost a year. Following the first four weeks of production the company has decided this week to boost plate output further from the beginning of June to produce some 60,000 tonnes in two weeks (almost double May's output).

While the increase in plate production is a good sign for the mill, the future of the company remains uncertain. This is because Italy is in the midst of one of the most significant political crises in the Republic's history.

The two populist parties (Movimento 5 Stelle and Lega Nord) won a majority in the Italian Parliament in the elections last March. The parties are still delaying the launch of a new Italian government, which is also creating wider tensions across Europe. In their political program the two parties have hinted at the possibility of closing the Ilva site in Taranto.

While the political uncertainty continues, Kallanish understands from sources close to the matter that negotiations between ArcelorMittal and the Ilva workforce have been halted. “At this stage we can only wait and see what the official positions of the new Italian government will be; the uncertainty is definitely delaying the process of relaunching Ilva within the ArcelorMittal group,” a source with knowledge of the situation says. 

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