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Italian steelmaker Arvedi pledges Eur1 billion to relaunch AST with green emphasis

Representatives of Italian steelmaker Arvedi, the new owner of special and stainless steel mill Acciai Speciali Terni, met April 1 with representatives of the Umbria region, where the site is located, and union members to present a new industrial plan for AST, a company spokesperson and union sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights. At the meeting, Arvedi’s board confirmed reporting by Platts that it will invest Eur1 billion ($1.10 billion) in the mill for the relaunch of AST.

From 2022 to 2026, the new investments will be used to revamp old lines with high-tech plant innovations, as well as to decarbonize the mill via green hydrogen produced at the site using photovoltaic panels. The company will also build a scrapyard that will use new waste management technologies.

The company will again produce magnetic steel, sustained by the high demand from the auto industry for electric engines.

The company did not disclose the amount of its magnetic production for the time being, but in the first phase it has allocated 50,000 square meters of area for it. AST produced about 200,000 mt/year of magnetic steel until 2004, when Thyssenkrupp, the owner at the time, decided to move production to Germany, where it was already the market leader.

AST will have also a new pickling line. In total, the company will increase its production up to 1.5 million mt/year of crude steel from the 1.1 million mt/year it is producing currently.

“We positively evaluate the plan, not only for the relaunch of production that over time had been lost or diminished, but also above all because it is a plan that looks to the future, as it plans hydrogen and green steel,” a union source said.

AST is the only integrated stainless mill in Italy, which produces 70% stainless steel and 30% carbon steel.

— Annalisa Villa