ILVA says it may soon have to close Taranto site

Business 'unsustainable' unless court releases site, work begins

ILVA says it may soon have to close Taranto site

Taranto, November 21 - Embattled Italian steel maker ILVA on Wednesday said that unless authorities release from confiscation the company's plant in this southern Italian city, the site will close. "The obviously unsustainable economical-financial [mode] of operations will inevitably lead to the definitive closure of productive activities and to the closure of the plant," Ilva officials said in a statement. The plant has been closed since July following a Taranto court's order to impound the smelting areas in order to safeguard people and the environment. Local authorities ordered the close while legal proceedings continue against the company and its managers for generating toxic emissions that caused disease and death. On November 20 lawyers for the company filed a plea with Taranto prosecutors asking the court to lift the partial shut-down orders. ILVA's request follows the Italian environment minister's approval of the company's new remediation plan, a detailed set of conditions and measures under which ILVA would be permitted to operate, called the AIA. ILVA's lawyers argue the company needs control of the impounded areas in order to execute the approved AIA remediation plan. Their request says it is impossible to perform the necessary work on the smelting areas without access to them, and that banks will not finance a company with impounded assets, sources told ANSA.

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