Image courtesy of Saipem/Instagram.

The CEO of Italian services firm Saipem fired back at critics on Tuesday and said the company’s fleet has been properly certified to meet emission standards.

According to Reuters, Saipem CEO Stefano Cao said during a parliamentary hearing in Italy that there is no risk that his company’s fleet could face an emission scandal like the one currently rocking Volkswagen.

Members of the 5-Star Movement, Italy’s second largest political party, have claimed that the company has not properly certified its fleet, putting the safety and value of the vessels at risk.

The 5-Star Movement has claimed that improper certification could add up to $8.58 billion to the company’s debt, Reuters said.

“Is there a Volkswagen case at Saipem? No,” Cao said during the hearing.

Party member Vito Petruccelli alleges that Saipem’s relationship with Eni has allowed it to skirt emission standards.

“Saipem works with Eni on some contracts and that has allowed it to use standards for its vessels that would not have been possible with other companies,” Petruccelli told Reuters.

Italy’s Eni reached a deal in October to sell a 12.5 percent stake in Saipem to state-owned Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) as part of an effort to reduce its debt load.

The sale could allow Eni to take $5.36 billion of Saipem debt off its books, Reuters said.

Following the sale, Eni will hold an 18 percent stake in Saipem, not including a shareholder pact the company reached with FSI.


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