Investment gives new lease of life to Valleys steelworks
10 Nov 2016 11:35 AM
International industrial and metals group, Liberty House, today formally reopened a Valley’s steelworks shut down a year ago when its former owners went into administration.
Liberty is resuming the production of steel structural hollow sections and tubes at the plant in Tredegar with support from the Welsh Government in a move that will create around 70 new jobs directly and many more in the supply chain.
On a visit to Tredegar to mark the launch of the new business, First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, who was accompanied by Liberty’s executive chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, described it as a great boost for the area and for the steel industry in Wales.
The site, which includes a 100,000 tonnes a year rolling mill, was one of a number of former Caparo Steel Products sites acquired by Liberty from the administrators in late 2015. Liberty is investing £3.7m in refurbishing and updating the facility which is backed by £600,000 business finance from the Welsh Government to help secure the project for Wales.
This is the latest in a succession of steel and engineering businesses acquired by Liberty across the UK and it comes a year since the company re-opened the hot strip mill at Newport, which had been mothballed by previous owners. In total, Liberty’s acquisitions and investments have saved more than 1,500 British jobs directly and thousands more in the supply chain.
The First Minister said:
“We are doing everything in our power to support the steel industry in Wales, which is vital for the sustainable future of our manufacturing industry.
“The reopening of the Valley’s steelworks is good news for our steel industry. Liberty has a proven track record within the steel sector and is one of a few companies expanding in today’s challenging climate. This is another strong commitment from Liberty and I welcome their plans to modernise the site and employ former staff, retaining local skills.
“The reopening of the steelworks will provide a significant boost to the local economy, creating 70 new jobs and supporting job creation through the supply chain.”
In addition to his visit to the newly named Liberty Steel Tredegar, the First Minister called in on the Liberty Steel Newport site which will supply hot rolled coil as raw material to the Valleys plant.
During the visit he met staff and witnessed a special ceremony to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali and mark the Newport site’s first year back in operation.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House, said:
“The reopening of Tredegar is very good news for our economy because it will be replacing imports with home-made product and creating sustainable skilled jobs here in Wales. We are very grateful for the enthusiastic support of the Welsh Government who have shown themselves to be solidly behind the steel industry, particularly during these difficult times.
“The steel industry globally continues to face severe challenges. The sharp rise in raw material prices means that margins for producers are worse than ever and we foresee challenging times ahead. However the UK is a mature market with customers demanding sophisticated products and exemplary service. We have the skills and capability here to serve our home market with high quality products on a competitive basis provided we can operate on a level playing field against our international competitors. Liberty is proving this time and again.
“The launch of Liberty Steel Tredegar is another step in our continued drive to establish an integrated and competitive steel business in Wales and the wider UK, based on our sustainable GREENSTEEL business model which will ultimately involve making steel from recycled material using renewable energy sources. Steel is a foundation industry upon which much of UK industry rests. It is critical future of the British economy and nowhere more so than here in Wales.”