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Steel industry in Italy

Challenge for restructuring the steel industry

Production decreased by 5.2% to 27.2 million tonnes, but especially apparent consumption lower by 20.4% compared to 2011. The Italian steel industry files a difficult year, made even heavier in terms of strategic and structural findings from the wounds represented by events related to Ilva Taranto, the Lucchini Group, and special Terni steelworks. And in 2013, especially with the market tensions (last year many companies have saved the financial statements with the export) does not bode well. Despite all this Antonio Gozzi, president of Federacciai, states that "a modern industrial country can not do without steel production," adding that especially "give up the full cycle would be crazy." Something more than a defense motion, as the president acknowledged that "need rationalization in the system," because the average threshold of 30 million tons produced to which we are accustomed in recent years, is no longer supported by the application. In Europe now speaks of structural overcapacity. Gozzi does not go to this. "It was said in 2001 - he explains - and then in 2004 we could sell up to 40 million. But now - explained - you have to merge, acquire, cut. It is not easy, especially in the north, where governance is fragmented family. It is an objective difficulty for a route aggregation. The area of electric ovens Brescia, for example, is not suitable for future competitive pressures. " The signals on the table are numerous: the steel undergoes a phase of restructuring. The president of Federacciai can not see the horizon, however, the danger of closure. "There are full-blown crisis - explains Gozzi - as is the case of Lucchini, but has now found the Inspector Piero Nardi a figure of reference, which will, probably through a reduction, to safeguard the group, which, however, can still count on a market of one million tonnes of finished products. " For the rest, "the other Italian steel companies - says the president - are healthy, well-capitalized, with a sustainable level of debt yet, despite having five years behind heavy." No exceptions. Ilva also crucial for the transformation of the Italian system, not close (without it would result in a charge for the Italian trade balance between 5 and 7.5 billion a year due to the import of coils). "I hope so - says Gozzi -. Must return their products to the company and then continue with the process of the law. Environmental issues should be resolved through a process, a trial that compares expertise and counter, ignoring the emotional factor. Contrary to what they think the judges - he adds - I am convinced of the homogeneity of Taranto against the other major cycle plants built in Europe. They say even the expertise of the Mario Negri: dioxin and benzopyrene are limits, there are problems of particulate and PM10, but like many other cities in Italy. The only exception in Europe from the environmental point of view - he added - is Linz. It is a gem, but it took them 20 years to clean up. Ilva it claims to do it all in two years: The Hague of Clini is already the path to go to that benchmark, since it requires the immediate adoption of the Bat, without waiting for 2016 as required by the EU, not to mention Germans who have obtained extensions to 2018. " Gozzi says finally convinced that Ilva can find the necessary resources to environmental remediation. "The company can count on depreciation 300-400 million a year, even in this time of crisis - he said - about a billion for the next three years in the company, which pays one-third of the required environmental investments. There is scope for making more debt. If you think in realistic terms, you can do something. "
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore


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