£60m investment to double production at steel group

A South Yorkshire-based steel company is pumping more than £60m into its operations in order to double its production.

LIBERTY Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, has committed to a programme of new investments at its GREENSTEEL production hub in Rotherham to supply the transport, defence, and construction sectors.

This forms part of the UK Government’s “Build Back Better” plan.

The business says the money will remove production bottlenecks at its electric arc furnace (N-Furnace) and small bloom caster in Rotherham, helping it increase existing steel output to one million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

It 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.

Its ambitious programme will boost the supply of sustainably-produced reinforcing bar “GreBar” for schools, hospitals, houses, energy facilities and transport links as part of the Government’s £100bn infrastructure spending plan.

LIBERTY says its production increase will reduce the UK’s reliance on imported steel, helping to strengthen Britain’s supply chain and secure high-value jobs.

The new initiatives follow 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 specialist 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.

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 said: “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.”