Steel production set to double at Liberty in Rotherham
Liberty Steel has announced plans to double production in Rotherham by winning business from HS2 and other infrastructure projects that are ‘vital to the UK’s post-pandemic recovery’.
The firm says steel production will reach more than 1m tonnes-a-year following upgrades to its two electric arc furnaces, plans to invest in its range of rebar - reinforcement bar - products and plans to use its Thrybergh rolling mills more efficiently.
The company bought the Speciality Steel business from Tata three years ago when it says the business was producing 225,000 tonnes of steel a year.
The announcement is part of its Greensteel strategy aiming to use the UK’s growing mountain of scrap steel and replace imports. UK demand for rebar is worth more than £500m-a-year.
Liberty executive chairman, Sanjeev Gupta said: “It has been three years since we acquired the business from Tata Steel and expanded steelmaking at Rotherham under our GREENSTEEL vision for the UK.
“Since then we’ve made vital upgrades to the plant, doubling production, and returned the business to profitability before it was affected by a Brexit-impacted weak steel market in 2019 which has been followed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we make plans for a post-pandemic economy, we have challenged ourselves to think differently across our product mix, assets and cost base to improve competitiveness and prepare for a new future.
“With the new developments at Thrybergh Bar Mill the business is well prepared to win a greater share of the construction market in the UK.”
Liberty is continuing its turnaround plans at its aerospace-focused works in Stocksbridge - where it announced 250 job losses in January - aiming to achieve up to 30 per cent efficiency gains, he added.
Reacting to the news from Liberty that steel production at Rotherham is set to double, Rotherham MP John Healey said it was a ‘huge shot in the arm for steelmaking in Rotherham’.
He added: “The workforce has proved its worth to Liberty over the last three years, doubling output and successfully trialling new steels.
“Liberty’s new plans are a big boost to the town at a time of wider economic crisis. It means Rotherham can lead the way in making British steel for British construction.”