Liberty Steel’s Ambitious Expansion Strategy Revealed: Hiking Capacity at Rotherham Plant

Liberty Steel recently announced a restructuring plan for its operations in the United Kingdom after signing a new framework agreement with creditors. Among other things, the ambitious plan includes hiking crude steel manufacturing capacity at its Rotherham plant.

The London-based company noted that the plan would see Liberty consolidate all its operations in the UK into one organization under a new entity and corporate structure. “It is proposed that the existing companies will transfer their assets and employees to the new company, subject to final structuring and agreements,” the company stated. Liberty also added that “Employees will carry over existing terms and conditions, with continuity of employment preserved. There will be no impact on operations, suppliers, or customers.”

Green plant, steel manufacturing

Liberty made the announcement on March 28 after raising $350 million in a bond issued by its Australian recycling and low-carbon steel producer, InfraBuild. The company acquired an additional $350 million in an asset-backed term loan through Chicago’s BlackRock and New York’s Silver Point Finance. However, a spokesman from GFG Alliance, a parent company of Liberty Steel, declined to discuss the conditions behind the funds raised with BlackRock and Silver Point.

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Another Steel Manufacturing Milestone for Liberty

Besides the Port Talbot site in Wales, where Liberty plans to permanently blow down its blast furnaces and replace them with electric arc furnaces, Liberty has eight additional steel manufacturing assets throughout the United Kingdom. Those sites produce merchant bar, rebar, specialty bar, plate, hot rolled coil, and hot rolled wide strip. They mainly target the aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, defense, engineering, oil and gas, and shipbuilding sectors.

Port Talbot

With regard to the Rotherham Steel & Bar plant in South Yorkshire, Liberty plans to almost double crude steel manufacturing capacity to 2 million metric tons. The site reportedly has two electric arc furnaces with a combined annual capacity of about 1.2 million metric tons. According to information on the company’s website, the Rotherdam facility casts ingots and blooms for sale or for rolling into billets for rolling into auto bar, such as black bar, bright drawn bar, and turned bar. The site can also roll rebar in 20-, 25-, 32-, 40- and 50mm diameters, the website noted.

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