Italy's Ilva to re-open steel furnace after environmental work

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 08, 2015 12:22 PM

TARANTO, Italy (Reuters) - Italy's Ilva steelworks, the largest in Europe by output capacity, will re-open the third of its five furnaces next month after a year's inactivity due to environmental problems, the company told trade unions on Wednesday.

The re-opening will mean three of the five furnaces will be functional at Ilva's Taranto plant in southern Italy which has been at the center of environmental concerns for more than two years and is losing tens of million euros every month.

The largest of the furnaces at Taranto remains closed while restructuring takes place, a trade union source told Reuters.

Ilva was put under special administration in 2013 after magistrates seized 8.1 billion euros ($9 billion) from its owners amid allegations that toxic emissions were causing abnormally high rates of cancer.

The government took full control of the plant in January to save 16,000 jobs, and aims to sell it within two or three years.

(Reporting by Vincenzo Damiani, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by William Hardy)