Italy's ILVA to clean up steel plant to avoid shutdown

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2012 12:30 PM

ROME (Reuters) - Italian steel group ILVA will invest 400 million euros ($525.48 million)to clean up its plant in the southern city of Taranto and stop further environmental damage in order to avoid a total shutdown, company officials said on Monday.

ILVA's president made the commitment in an industrial plan deposited with judicial authorities and unions.

In July, Italian prosecutors gave the company until the end of September to come up with a plan to clean up Europe's biggest steel plant, after an inquiry found that chemicals pumped from the plant were harming the health of workers and local residents.

Italian prosecutors accused plant operators earlier this year of knowingly allowing the deadly pollution to continue.

The plant employs about 12,000 workers and another 8,000 jobs in the area are related. It is one of the few major industries in the poorer southern region of Puglia.

Ferrante said the Luxembourg-based company Paul Wurth has been asked to present a plan on how to contain the environmental impact.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)