Liberty Speciality Steels has welcomed Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington to its Rotherham plant as the turnaround in the business continues to gather pace.
Development director Peter Hogg showcased the company’s Greensteel strategy as he took Mr Lidington on a tour of the site’s electric arc furnace, scrap processing unit and small bloom caster at the Aldwarke works.
Since Liberty bought the Speciality Steels business from Tata Steel in 2017, multi-million-pound investment in recommissioning and upgrading mothballed machinery at Rotherham has triggered a revival in the company’s fortunes, doubling the production and providing employment for almost 300 new workers and apprentices.
At the heart of the revival, the restarting of the site’s large electric arc furnace in early 2018 has enabled Liberty to step up its GREENSTEEL strategy, which involves melting recycled scrap steel to make steel products for advanced manufacturing sectors. Melting scrap to make new steel only has a small proportion of the carbon footprint of primary steelmaking in blast furnaces.
Mr Lidington said: “It was great to see the steelmaking and casting facilities at Liberty Speciality Steels and hear about their innovative work, particularly the increasing use of low carbon power with their Greensteel strategy.”
Peter Hogg said: “We are delighted to welcome the minister to Rotherham and show him a successful template for our Greensteel vision, which is critical for ensuring the UK can remain competitive by sustainable means in an increasingly challenging global steel market.
“The Rotherham business is a beacon to the wider UK steel industry in proving that high-grade steel can be manufactured profitably in this country for a range of specialist industries such as aerospace, automotive and energy.
“With the minister on site, we urge the UK government to redouble its efforts to support the country’s steel industry, evidenced by the signing of the UK Steel charter last month, so that more businesses can follow the example here at Rotherham.
“Whilst high-quality steel continues to be produced in the UK despite some of the highest industrial energy prices in Europe, we look forward to the Government working proactively to incentivise the generation of renewable energy and make that available to manufacturing on a competitive basis. This would provide long-term certainty and stimulate much-needed investment in the industry.”