(ANSA) - Bari, September 14 – The troubled ILVA steelworks in Taranto will need to start scaling back production next week to upgrade its machinery, state prosecutors ordered on Friday. The order from prosecutors of the southern Italian city, where ILVA is based, was sent to the court-appointed managers of the plant, which was seized July 26 for emitting toxic pollution. The government and ILVA have been embroiled in a fierce legal standoff since a local court ordered the partial closure of the plant for environmental and health violations over a number of years. Courts closed parts of the steel mill in a move which ILVA has said will essentially halt production, not just in Taranto but at its other plants as well. The company, workers, the unions and the Italian government have all been working together to keep the plant operating while the environmental upgrades are carried out. ILVA Chairman Bruno Ferrante asked local and regional authorities for "certainty in the rules, in the regulations" at a meeting with local, government and regional authorities on Friday in Bari. "We cannot tolerate for these to change during the process, as this forces the company to change its position and its investments each time it happens" Ferrante said. Italian Environment Minister Corrado Clini said he imagined foreign competitors were hoping for a negative outcome of the upgrade process. "We can suppose a lot of European and non-European industrial groups have good reasons to hope that our initiative is not successful," Clini said. "They have a lot of instruments at hand that could be used to negatively influence the outcome of our work".