Wednesday, December 16, 2020

News: £60m investment confirmed for Rotherham steel plant


Liberty Steel has committed £60m at its South Yorkshire GREENSTEEL production hub at Rotherham to boost production to over one million tonnes per annum.

The firm has made substantial investments in the Rotherham steel operations it acquired three years ago from Tata Steel, when the business was producing just 225,000 tonnes per annum. In 2018, HRH Prince Charles switched on the second Electric Arc Furnace, the "N Furnace" at Aldwarke.

Various upgrades to the plant has enabled the business to more than double production at Rotherham to over 500,000 tonnes per annum and the production of its new rebar products started in Rotherham recently.

The latest investments will remove production bottlenecks at the N-Furnace and small bloom caster. 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 be Chief Executive of the combined business which will have operations in South Yorkshire and the Midlands.

Liberty's Engineering Bar business has manufacturing facilities on two sites in Rotherham and Wednesbury, consisting of Bright Bar Rotherham (BBR), Bright Bar Wednesbury (BBW) and Roundwood Processing Centre (RPC).

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance (which owns Liberty), 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 at 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."

Liberty Steel website

Images: Liberty Steel


Ziggy,  December 16, 2020 at 4:48 PM  

Brilliant, proper local manufacturing jobs! Hopefully rather than paying dividends they will reduce grants taken in as they build the business back up and we rely less on foreign imports.

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