Home Business Dietrofront by Arcelor Mittal on the pending restart of Invitalia’s 400 million

Dietrofront by Arcelor Mittal on the pending restart of Invitalia’s 400 million

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The crisis broke out for the steelmaker ArcelorMittal, formerly Ilva, in Taranto, but returned in a few hours. In the morning, the company, faced with the non-payment by Invitalia of the 400 million relating to the State’s entry into the capital, announced «a reduction in its production levels and a temporary slowdown in its investment plans. These measures will be in force as long as Invitalia does not fulfill the commitments made with the investment agreement ».
In practice, this means that in the Taranto plant there would be a slip for the restart of steel mill 1, conveyor train 2 and Erw pipe mill and another 250 employees would go into layoffs, in addition to the approximately 3 thousand who, according to union sources, already exist.
There are also repercussions for the related industries because the construction sites of the environmental works in The Hague would stop.
The related party evaluates protests since he is already paying for the non-payment of overdue invoices. It is estimated about 30 million only for the companies represented by Confindustria Taranto. A sit-in and a meeting with the prefect Demetrio Martino is scheduled for Monday.
All this happens until 13.30 on Saturday morning.

The turning point of Saturday

Immediately after, the turning point. ArcelorMittal – the unions announce – retraces its steps. He calls the trade unionists and announces that the conveyor train restarts on March 20, the steel mill 1 also resumes, while the pre-existing number of employees is restored in central maintenance. In addition, the unions say, the company is evaluating the restart of sheet metal production 2 and the Erw pipe mill and the resumption of some contracted activities.
“Schizophrenia” is the comment made by the metalworking acronyms at the sudden change of ArcelorMittal.
Just a few hours earlier, the company, motivating the stop, had declared that the investment agreement signed with Invitalia on 10 December “provides for the commitment of Invitalia to subscribe and pay a capital increase of € 400 million by 5 February 2021 and a series of other measures to support the company’s investments ».
For ArcelorMittal, “despite the binding nature of the agreement, as of today Invitalia has not yet subscribed and paid up its share of capital and therefore has not fulfilled its obligations under the agreement”. “This persistent failure to comply – it is stated – is seriously compromising the sustainability and prospects of the company and its employees”. In February, ArcelorMittal did not pay to Ilva in extraordinary administration, owner of the plants, both the quarterly installment of the rent of approximately 25 million (February, March, April) and the section, more or less of the same amount, of the “Excluded goods” (warehouse and spare parts).
The unions believe that a government intervention has changed the line of the company.

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The unions and the December agreement

The December agreement, the “son” of a previous agreement of 4 March 2020, provides for two steps.
The first is the 400 million, where the state acquires 50% r of governance.
The second step, on the other hand, establishes that by May 2022 the State will carry out a second intervention on the capital of 680 million and pass to 60 per cent (Mittal, on the other hand, invests 70 million to maintain the 40).
The agreement starts from the assumption of a new industrial plan and full production in 2025 of 8 million tons of steel with the maintenance of the current group employees (10,700). The agreement initially envisaged that the investment of 400 million was made by January 31, 2021, subject to the antitrust authorization of the European Union, while that of 680 million at the closing of the transaction. That is, the purchase of the company by ArcelorMittal, albeit subject to conditions precedent such as the judicial release from seizure of the plants.
The go-ahead from the EU for Invitalia to join ArcelorMittal arrived before the end of January. Having found the non-payment in February, ArcelorMittal wrote to Invitalia putting it in default. He announced the appeal to arbitration and asked for default interest.

The government takes time to investigate

The Government, however, wants to deepen the dossier, so much so that the inter-ministerial summit a few days ago, present Cdp and Invitalia, did not release the 400 million.
Meanwhile, the ruling of the Council of State called to express itself on the merits of the sentence of the TAR Lecce of last February 13, which ordered the shutdown in 60 days of the plants considered polluting, is expected in mid-May (sentence that the Council of State has for now suspended ).
In addition to the judicial issue, the Government is also reflecting on how to improve the industrial plan of the agreement by putting it in tune with the ecological transition, with the Recovery Plan and with the need for a “change of pace”.

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