ArcelorMittal has said that it could relinquish control of the ex-Ilva plant in Taranto as soon as 6 September if its problems with proposed Italian government legislation on environmental matters are not resolved. The company fears that the new law that could remove existing legal safeguards in place to protect the group from incurring liability for environmental issues that occurred before it took control of the plant.
The news was shared by head of ArcelorMittal Flat Products Europe and Eurofer president Geert Van Poelvoorde, on the sidelines of the Eurofer European Steel Day organised in Brussels yesterday.
Last week the company (supported by the Italian steelmakers' association Federacciai) voiced its concerns over the new decree under discussion in the Italian parliament.
Van Poelvoorde added that the company will continue its environmental investments in Taranto in the coming months as a solution with the Italian authorities within the next two months could be forthcoming. If so, the group would revoke any plan to relinquish control of the former Ilva at the beginning of September. ArcelorMittal has agreed to lease the mill from the Italian authorities for a period of up to five years starting in November 2018 before completing the full acquisition (see Kallanish passim).