Stalled Revitalization of Portovesme Metallurgical Hub in Sardinia

Stalled Revitalization of Portovesme Metallurgical Hub in Sardinia

Stagnation Despite Investment Plans

The industrial hub of Portovesme in southwestern Sardinia, which was once a bustling center of employment with nearly 15,000 workers, now remains in limbo. Despite having plans and resources for investments worth nearly one billion euros, the revitalization of the metallurgical hub is yet to commence.

Eurallumina’s Crucial Role and Challenges

Eurallumina, controlled by Russia’s Rusal, is at the forefront of this stalled revival. The company has already invested over 250 million euros to maintain its refinery operations and worker compensations. However, a crucial 300 million euro investment plan hinges on resolving the energy supply issue. The current focus is on alternative energy sources like Porto Torres and coastal deposits, but the absence of a concrete methanization plan leaves the future of Eurallumina uncertain.

Sider Alloys’ Uncertain Progress

The situation is equally challenging for Sider Alloys. After acquiring the primary aluminum plant from Alcoa in 2018, the company, led by Giuseppe Mannina, has been facing delays. The recent arrival of guarantees from Sace marks a small step forward, but the overall progress remains slow, with concerns over the continuation of social shock absorbers.

Glencore’s Decisions Impacting the Hub

Portovesme srl, a Glencore subsidiary, ceased its lead and zinc production in March due to high energy costs, affecting its workforce directly. Additionally, Glencore has decided to relocate its 5-million-euro Li demo project, initially aimed at producing Lithium for batteries, to another country. This decision, attributed to lengthy authorization processes and uncertain timelines, casts doubts on the future of a larger plant, theoretically planned with over 500 million euros of investment in Portovesme.

A Call for Timely Action and Concrete Answers

The revitalization of the Portovesme metallurgical hub requires urgent attention and action from regional authorities and the Ministry. The future of major players like Eurallumina and Sider Alloys, and the overall health of the hub, depend on swift and concrete solutions to the energy challenges and bureaucratic hurdles currently impeding progress. icon

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