Take time. And overcome December 5 without trauma, the day on which the embargo on Russian oil is triggered, which would effectively decree the shutdown of the refineries of Isab of Priolo, controlled indirectly by the Russian giant Lukoil. Avoid the closure of the refineries which would certify the collapse of a system, that of the Syracusan industrial hub, which is worth in total 10 thousand jobs. But it would also put an entire system at a national level in difficulty: other companies that obtain supplies of products from Isab, supplies of refined products given that the Isab refineries alone supply a quarter of the country’s annual requirement.
All elements that have been clear for some time now: after the banks stopped providing credit to ISAB due to over compliance which, no longer being able to turn to the international market, was forced to source only Russian oil. The last tanker has landed on the Syracuse coast in recent days and the company has declared that, with some expedients such as the slowdown in production, it is in a position to continue for a few more weeks. Weeks, not months.
The Italian government is looking at a two-step strategy: a let’s say soft intervention by the State with a trustee who can give the right guarantees to the banks waiting for Lukoil sell the refineries and exit the scene. These are the premises of the provision that will arrive in cabinet. A provision that has already been the subject of analysis in a summit between the ministries concerned starting with the Ministry for Enterprise led by Adolfo Urso on the evening of Wednesday 30 November but on which the technicians continue to work.
What the logic of the intervention is can be understood from the statements of the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin: «The government is discussing various solutions. One, while waiting for a buyer and a property that is no longer Russian to be found, could be a hypothesis of state intervention, with guarantees if they are sufficient, or at the extreme limit with an operation of quasi-nationalization – Pichetto Brother –. Or with a derogation from the sanctions mechanism. There are three possibilities: either they authorize us the derogation as for Bulgaria or the evaluation is to say if there isn’t a buyer right away, we need to make a bridging operation by the State».
It is not yet technically clear how the government wants to implement this “bridging solution”: the hypothesis is that of declaring the Isab refineries in Priolo “strategic production for the country” and allowing the appointment of a trustee. “The state will temporarily intervene in the management of the refinery while work will continue to identify a definitive solution that ensures production continuity and jobs – explains the former Minister of the Environment and exponent of Forza ItaliaStefania Prestigiacomo which closely follows the Isab dossier –. We note that, contrary to theDraghi governmentwhich had ignored or in any case greatly underestimated the Lukoil emergency, the new centre-right executive seriously and promptly faced an economic and political crisis which risked having devastating effects».