Giovedì, 13 Dicembre 2018
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Government says three firms interested in Alcoa smelter


(ANSA) - Rome, October 4 - Italy's economy ministry
confirmed Thursday that the government is considering approaches
from three firms interested in taking over the Alcoa aluminium
plant in Sardinia.
The firms are Klesch industrial group of Switzerland,
Italian firm Kite Gen, and "a major Australian company", said
Economy Undersecretary Claudio De Vincenti.
Serious negotiations can now begin with at least one of the
interested parties, De Vincenti said on the sidelines of a
conference by leftwing trade union CGIL.
Klesch has already written to the government, confirming
its interest in acquiring the Portovesme smelter from the US
aluminium giant.
The minister urged the other two bidders to follow suit and
"initiate negotiations".
It had been previously known that three companies had put
out feelers, but it hadn't been clear how serious they were
about acquiring Alcoa's Sardinian operation.
Alcoa has already announced plans to close its aluminium
smelter on Sardinia, triggering work protests and an intense
hunt to find a buyer.
Global commodities trader Glencore was interested in taking
over the smelter in Portovesme, but last month pulled out,
saying the energy costs were too high.
Earlier this week, the European Commission approved the
extension until 2015 of one type of energy discounts for
companies like Alcoa operating in Sardinia and Sicily.
Those discounts are related to agreements with large
electricity consumers that accept cuts in their energy service
without notice.
That decision has also rekindled hopes among Alcoa workers
that their jobs might yet be saved.
A delegation of 25 workers and union representatives were
scheduled to meet with government officials Thursday in Rome to
press their case.

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