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Liberty Steel to invest further £60m at Rotherham plant
Liberty Steel, part of GFG Alliance, has committed to a programme of new investments at its South Yorkshire GREENSTEEL production hub in Rotherham to supply the transport, defence, and construction sectors as part of the UK government’s Build Back Better plan.
The investments, totalling more than £60m, will remove production bottlenecks at its electric arc furnace (N-Furnace) and small bloom caster in Rotherham, helping the business to double existing steel output to 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).
Liberty will launch a public tender to upgrade its N-Furnace for increased scrap steel melting, make upgrades to Thrybergh Bar Mill and install a new rod block to produce wire rod and de-bar in coil.
The programme will boost supply of sustainably-produced reinforcing bar “GreBar” for schools, hospitals, houses, energy facilities and transport links as part of the UK government’s £100bn infrastructure spending plan. Liberty’s production increase will reduce the UK’s reliance on imported steel, helping to strengthen the UK supply chain and secure high-value jobs.
The new initiatives follow hot on the heels of the first shipments of GreBar from Thrybergh targeted at UK infrastructure projects such as HS2. Liberty aims to partner with a rebar fabrication company onsite for GreBar production.
At the same time, Liberty and Acenta Steel, part of the AARTEE Group, have agreed a deal to combine their engineering bar divisions to deliver a stronger, more efficient high precision steel business supplying industrial customers.
The deal will create AARTEE Bright Bar, a UK market leader in bright bar steel used for high quality components in the automotive, general engineering, hydraulics and yellow goods industries. Julian Schoch, existing managing director of the Liberty Engineering Bar division, will become chief executive of the combined business which will have operations in South Yorkshire and the Midlands.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman, GFG Alliance, said: “Liberty’s programme of further investment in South Yorkshire is proof that the UK steel industry can deliver the low carbon infrastructure Britain needs to build back better. With government backing for UK steel in procurement for major construction projects, a resurgent steel sector can deliver a new generation of industrial skills and jobs.”
Jon Ferriman, managing director, Liberty Steel UK, added: “We’ve already taken big strides by doubling production at Rotherham to 500,000 mt since we acquired the business, including the launch of sustainably-produced new components such as GreBar perfect for infrastructure projects like HS2. The investments we’re announcing today will now double production yet again and put us right on course to hit our target to produce one million tonnes a year at Rotherham. This is a truly exciting prospect for Rotherham which will guarantee its long term viability producing sustainable GREENSTEEL for the growing construction and engineering sectors in the UK.”