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2 minute read

£9.8m investment for new powder metals project

Tees Valley Combined Authority has signed off a multi-million-pound investment which will bring a revolutionary metals project to Redcar. The overall cost of the scheme will reach £9.83 million.

The £4.6 million investment from the Tees Valley Combined Authority will allow Liberty Powder Metals, owned by Liberty House, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, to develop and manufacture speciality alloy metal powders for use in 3D printing of car, aircraft and engineering components.

A further £4 million investment will come directly from Liberty. This builds on a highly successful multi-partner powder metallurgy research project, known as CASCADE, funded by the UK Government and led by Liberty Speciality Steels.

The investment allows Liberty Powder Metals to develop and manufacture speciality alloy metal powders for use in 3D printing of car, aircraft and engineering components / Picture: Getty/iStock


The new project will be based at the Materials Processing Institute in Redcar, enabling Liberty to access the scientific expertise available at the Institute which is a not-for-profit research and innovation centre supporting industry to develop new materials, processes and technologies.

At the heart of the development is a state-of-the-art vacuum atomiser designed to produce the very highest quality metal powders. This is part of a research and manufacturing vision for Liberty Powders which will also promote open access collaborative research and development of skills and competence.

Liberty Powder Metals expects the market for speciality alloy metal powders to grow rapidly and aims to secure a share in the international market for it, using Tees Valley-based facilities.

Jon Bolton, chief executive of Liberty Steel UK said: “As a group we are committed to revitalising the metals and engineering industry through innovation and we’re very proud to partner with the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Materials Processing Institute to take forward a game-changing technology that will build a bright new future for these sectors in the UK and worldwide.”

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen added: “This investment will give Teesside the chance to compete in a potentially huge new global market. Staying ahead of the curve on new technologies like speciality metal powders, and the 3D printed products they’re used in, could create a whole new industrial cluster and many jobs for local workers.

“The fact that a company as big as Liberty has chosen to bring this project to the Tees Valley shows that we are a real magnet for research and development and foreign direct investment.

“It just shows that if we keep backing our job creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and risk takers, private investment will flood into our area to develop future-proof industries like this one.”

Chris McDonald, chief executive officer of Materials Processing Institute concluded: “The Institute can bring a high level of scientific expertise to this project with our capabilities in advanced materials and we are delighted to support Liberty in the next phase of its powder metals project which is essential for the continued development and refinement of additive manufacturing processes.”