At a meeting held in Taranto, Italy, earlier this week, ArcelorMittal Italia’s management told local unions that blast furnace No. 2 at the former Ilva plant will be restarted in the coming days, with total production at the plant this year expected to be around 5 million mt with BFs Nos. 1, 2, and 4 operating (although BF No. 4 is expected to be halted for maintenance around March or April). Previously, the FIM, FIOM, UILM and USB trade unions had asked for more detailed information on ArcelorMittal’s five-year industrial plan, including the output foreseen for 2021. ArcelorMittal Italia had ended 2020 with an annual production of around 3.4 million mt, its lowest ever.
Local media reported that the restart of BF No. 2 was postponed slightly due to technical reasons, as it had been scheduled to be carried out yesterday, January 26. As reported previously, with the restart of BF No. 2, which has been idle since last spring, daily steel production at the plant in Taranto should rise from 10,000 mt to 14,000 mt.
In the meantime, temporary layoffs due to Covid-19 started on January 4 for another 12 weeks for all employees at the Taranto plant, which may affect up to 8,132 direct employees. According to the company, this is due to the persistence of the reduction in work activity attributable to the pandemic.