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November, 20th 2017

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SEP 07
09:09

Italy ejects Cevital from Piombino, seeks new owners

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The Italian Ministry for Economic Development (Mise) has announced this week officially that it will investigate alternative ownership for the former Lucchini mill in Piombino.  The plant has been controlled for the last two years by the Algerian group Cevital operating under the name of Aferpi.

The authorities have told Cevital that it has failed to comply with the latest agreement regarding the restart of production of the mill’s rolling lines. They are therefore initiating the procedure to rescind the contract with the Algerian group.

Before the summer, Aferpi guaranteed that rolling would restart before the end of August. Despite this, the mill remains inactive and a plan for the supply of billet to feed the rolling mills has not been made public (see Kallanish passim).

As a result, the Italian Ministry will soon be starting looking for an alternative partner to run the former Lucchini mill. Local sources noted that many international players are monitoring the situation, including voestalpine, British Steel and Danieli.

The main interest for the assets however is coming from India’s JSW Steel. The company had already made a bid for the assets three years ago and has renewed its interest in a recent letter to the Italian authorities. The producer could revamp the idled Lucchini blast furnace to produce crude steel to be rolled into special long products as well as, possibly, flat products. JSW also participated in a bid to acquire the Ilva assets (see Kallanish passim) demonstrating that the company has a clear interest in investing in Europe and Italy.