Bari

ILVA wants to keep investing in Taranto, chairman says

'But well-defined regulations needed' says steelworks chief

ILVA wants to keep investing in Taranto, chairman says

(ANSA) - Bari, September 14 - The troubled ILVA steelworks intends to continue investing in its operations in the Southern Italian city of Taranto, according to a statement released on Friday. "ILVA intends to continue investing in Taranto in the context of a well-defined program of the sustainability of its future prospects," according to Chairman Bruno Ferrante in the statement. The comments were released after Ferrante met with local, regional and national authorities on Friday to discuss the future of the steel plant. Several courts this year have placed control of the company into the hands of court-appointed managers so as to steer it through an environmentally friendly upgrade of its machinery. Shortly after the meeting, Ferrante had told reporters the company was having difficulty in relation to the uncertainty of the rules and regulations governing the steel sector, adding that when they change it "forces the company to change its position and its investments each time it happens". Prosecutors on Friday said ILVA week will need to start scaling back production to upgrade its machinery starting next week. The ILVA plant was seized by court order on July 26 for emitting toxic pollution. The government and ILVA have since 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. 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".

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