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Liberty begins multi-million-pound Newport investment
Liberty Steel Newport, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, has begun a planned £15m investment in new and upgraded equipment as it continues a drive to win bigger UK market share for hot rolled coil, used in industries such as construction, automotive and pipe manufacture.
The 180-worker South Wales plant, re-opened by Liberty in 2015 following closure by previous owners, is doubling coil production this year to nearly 370,000 tonnes and is targeting further growth in 2019, aiming to displace foreign imports that currently take around 50% of the domestic market.
Next week, the firm is completing the first phase of the investment which is the installation of advanced descaling equipment to further improve the surface quality of the product, along with additional automation to increase process efficiency. There are plans to install further equipment in the coming months to achieve greater product quality and internal efficiency improvements.
Operations director Tony Halbert said: “We’re greatly encouraged by the progress we’ve been making at the mill and these investments will put us in an even stronger position to serve existing and new customers in the UK and overseas.”
Planning work and front-end engineering is also continuing at Newport for a much larger investment involving the installation of an electric arc furnace and casters for liquid steelmaking and slab production at the site. These processes will be powered by renewable energy under Liberty’s GREENSTEEL strategy.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance added: “Newport was the group’s first steel producing asset so it’s very satisfying to see it continuing to make great strides forward as a highly-valued part of the global GFG business. We’re looking forward to delivering our big ambitions for the site.”