Steel resiliency

13 maggio 2020

Steel. I use to say I grew eating Bread and Steel since when I started working in Shipping with my Father. I was 15, that summer I spent few days in a steel mill to issue some documents to ship Steel debars from there to the Port of Savona; since then I never stopped to ship, handle, trade steels, and I always did it trying to understand and know as much as I could about it.
Steel is not simply “iron”, it is fundamental in many activities, it is used in thousands ways; it is a very recyclable material, when it gets to an end as a bar, beam or plate, you just cut and melt it to get back steel again. More important it is something a country must be able to produce internally to supply its other industries where steel is needed, which for Italy are many, such as car, domestic appliances, pipes etc.
I read a very interesting article on an Italian paper in November last year about what was and is happening in Taranto with the ex ILVA Steel work, the biggest Steel making plant in Europe. Commenting how this has been managed by Italian politics and the reactions of Italian citizens. The journalist said “Iron metallurgy is a primary sector in manufacturing: to lose steel production means to lose Industrial sovereignty”. We hear all these sovereigntists talking around, but what are them doing to save the Italian Steel Industry? In Italian government there are the 5Star movement people, who won majority in Puglia, the region where Taranto lays, promising to shut the mill and make an amusement park out of it. What were the citizens looking for, another way to live with subsidies or dreaming of building a new Disneyland in a word which already have too many of it?
I am talking about this because we are presently seen, under a strange silent shadow, a further step of the endless history of the Ex-ILVA, mentioning possible return of the Italian State in the Ownership of the Company, together or without Arcelor Mittal which is managing it at the moment. I have no comment, I am just very worried about what could happen in such a case. Steel is needed, it must be produced in Italy, but to keep going we need a skilled Management to make it profitable, and working in a healthy environment, respecting citizen’s rights, but also with them respecting the Public enterprise.