CERNOBBIO, Italy Sept 9 (Reuters) - The Italian government has received only generic expressions of interest in Alcoa Inc’s loss-making aluminium plant on the island of Sardinia and there is no firm bid on the table, Industry Minister Corrado Passera told Reuters on Sunday.
U.S.-listed aluminium maker Alcoa has decided to close down its Sardinian smelter, putting at risk around 1,500 jobs in an area that has one of the highest unemployment rates in Italy.
Passera said last week his ministry had received a letter from Swiss commodities and mining group Glencore, a possible buyer, and an expression of interest from Klesch, another Swiss group that operates in the sector.
Industry ministry officials are meeting unions in Rome on Monday to discuss the future of the plant. Sardinian workers are planning a protest in Italy’s capital on the same day.
“For now, we have only see some very generic expressions of interest that need to become more concrete. If they (potential buyers) were to demonstrate some real interest, we will be the first to be happy about it,” Passera told Reuters in an interview at the Ambrosetti Forum in the lakeside resort of Cernobbio.
Alcoa said in a statement on Friday it had not been contacted by any prospective buyer for the plant since Aug. 1.
“If this region was to lose this kind of activity, we would have to think about a new development model,” Passera said.
“But let’s first see if we can solve this issue in the more natural way, that is by finding a buyer from the sector.”