ROME, Feb 22 (Reuters) - New investors are likely to emerge to help revive Italy's steel industry after the government took charge of ArcelorMittal's plants in the country this week, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Thursday.

The government is looking for new industrial partners for Acciaierie d'Italia (ADI) -- the Italian steel business.

ADI was formerly known as Ilva, whose main plant in the southern city of Taranto is one of the largest in Europe and is a major employer in Italy's under-developed south.

"I don't want to nationalise Ilva," Meloni told an interview with RAI TV.

"I think that there are margins to find private investors who really have an interest in making it work. There are several who have come forward," she added.

Weighed down by an increase in energy prices and a drop in rolled steel coil prices, ADI has run out of cash and has accumulated huge debts with suppliers including energy giant Eni and grid operator Snam.

"There is a market for quality steel in Europe, it is in our interest to guarantee production quality, keep workers and suppliers safe, and respect the environment," Meloni added.

Ukraine's Metinvest could be among those interested in investing in ADI, its CEO was quoted as saying last month.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante Writing by Keith Weir)