Italy’s Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MIMT), Adolfo Urso, Metinvest, equipment maker Danieli, the region of Tuscany and the city of Piombino have signed an agreement to accelerate the troubled Piombino steelmaking site relaunch. This site is now part of JSW Italy.

The new facility will entail an investment of €2 billion ($2.1 billion) and produce 2.7 million tonnes/year of hot rolled coil from the electric arc furnace route. JSW and Metinvest will be able to co-exist on the site without overlapping, as JSW would retain production of rails (see Kallanish passim).

The aim is to commission Metinvest’s prospective hot strip mill in Piombino by 2027, Tuscany president Eugenio Giani said last month. MIMT aims to relaunch the site’s activity, guarantee employment and help reduce imports of steel products from third countries.

Metinvest and Danieli will undertake a feasibility study on the future integrated steel plant, assessing “the conditions of stable and long-lasting operation of the hub and enhancing the industrial and productive potential of the area, favouring the solutions most compatible with the urban environment … The project will be financed with the support of private funding and government grants,” MIMT says in a document obtained by Kallanish.

Potential investors will be the environment ministry, the Tuscany region, the city of Piombino and the port authority. The agreement signed this week prepares for the final agreement – “Accordo di programma” – that is expected to be signed within the next four months.

“Today's agreement marks a crucial step for the relaunch of the Piombino hub, which will assume an increasingly central role in the context of the national steel plan, together with the steelworks of Taranto, Terni and the steelworks of northern Italy,” Urso comments.

The project comes under the name of “Digital Green Steel”. Metinvest promises “the greenest plant in Europe”, says its chief executive, Yuriy Ryzhenkov. “This project, with a capacity of approximately 3 million tonnes, will play a crucial role in Italy's green transition by implementing sustainable and environmentally friendly industrial practices. Furthermore, it will help increase the utilisation of our iron ore mining and processing facilities in Ukraine, driving their modernisation to produce high-quality pellets,” Ryzhenkov adds.

“Piombino is a cutting-edge project which, once completed, will constitute a tangible example of how collaboration between foreign industrial groups and Italian institutions can produce positive results,” he says.

The future hub will be completely digital and, at full capacity, will have a significant positive impact on employment, Danieli president Gianpietro Benedetti concludes.