As reported previously, the Italian government has rejected the new industrial plan presented by ArcelorMittal Italia for the former Ilva, saying it was unacceptable as it was very different from the March agreement both regarding employment and investment level. A few days ago the company replied to the government with a letter that was disclosed recently by local media.
“Firstly, we note that your letter ungenerously misrepresents the purpose and contents of our proposed revision of the March plan and minimizes the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has endangered the very survival of large sectors of the economy around the world (and the steel industry in particular),” reads the letter signed by ArcelorMittal Italia CEO Lucia Morselli.
Morselli has asked for a summit “with the competent institutions and the potential investor identified by the government,” i.e., the Italian state’s investment agency Invitalia. The manager added that “the updated plan aims to preserve the contract as it provides a realistic and sustainable path until the purchase date.” Furthermore, it “constitutes a necessary follow-up to the plan that was presented in March,” which ArcelorMittal says is a work-in-progress since “it has left open some fundamental points such as electricity prices and DRI prices.”
ArcelorMittal Italia has underlined that “the updated plan aims to preserve the pillars of the March plan, such as major environmental and industrial investments and the compromise between green reconversion and employment levels.” The company has therefore rejected “any accusation according to which the updated plan would weaken a plant of national strategic interest. On the contrary, this plan aims to preserve the production structure with the necessary adjustments to make it sustainable.” In conclusion, the company has asked for a meeting with Invitalia to examine the new proposal.
The new industrial plan presented by ArcelorMittal provides for approximately 5,000 redundancies in total and production of 3 million mt of steel in 2020, to be increased to 6 million mt per year in 2022-23 and to 8 million mt in 2026. In addition, it entails the postponement of environmental investments and the request for funding and state resources.