Liberty’s production increase is expected to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported steel, strengthen the UK construction supply chain.
Liberty Steel plans to remove production bottlenecks at its electric arc furnace (N-Furnace) and small bloom caster at its greensteel plant in Rotherham to help double existing steel output to one million tonnes per annum.
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.
Liberty Steel is part of the GFG (Gupta Family Group) Alliance. Executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta 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 of 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.”
Liberty House Group paid £100m in 2017 to purchase the speciality steel division of Tata Steel Europe. It began production of steel reinforcing bar, GreBar, in June 2020, using recycled greensteel from Liberty’s electric arc furnace. The UK market for rebar, used to reinforce concrete, is estimated to be worth £500m a year and rising. According to Liberty, the UK currently consumes about 1.2 million tonnes of rebar a year, with half of this demand currently met by imports, despite a surplus of scrap metal produced in the UK, which could be recycled into the supply chain, it says. The HS2 project alone will require nearly a million tonnes of rebar.