Steel site ready for reopening
Clydebridge steel works will reopen as soon as possible, the company at the heart of the Scottish steel revival has said.
Liberty House rea f f i rmed its commitment to the Cambuslang plant on the same day it resumed operations at its sister plant Dalzell on Wednesday, September 28.
The company, which bought both plants from Tata Steel earlier this year, said market conditions would determine the timescale for the reopening of the plant in Cambuslang. But Liberty House also said that decision would be made in the short to medium term.
Speaking at the relaunch of Dalzell Jon Bolton, chief executive of Liberty Steel UK Plates and UK Steel Development, said: “Liberty intends to bring Clydebridge back into operation as soon as the market allows.
“The plant has had significant investment over the past five years, enabling it to add value to the plate rolled at Dalzell. In addition, Liberty will explore additional opportunities that take advantage of the sites’ capabilities.”
International industrial group Liberty House rescued Clydebridge and Dalzell in April after both plants were closed by Tata Steel in December 2015 amid a global steel crisis.
The business believes the Lanarkshire plants are perfectly positioned to implement its ‘Greensteel strategy’ for a competitive, low-carbon and sustainable steel industry. The strategy involves creating steel by recycling scrap using a process powered by renewable energy.
Liberty has recruited around 120 staff for Dalzell, comprising many former employees from both Dalzell and Clydebridge, who were made redundant when Tata Steel seized operations.
Executive chairman of the Liberty House Group Sanjeev Gupta paid tribute to the support of the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise in helping the company rescue the plate works: “There is an impressive spirit of partnership here and a determination to give the Scottish steel industry a real future,” he said.
“We see great opportunities for investment in Scotland and regard this as a very fertile business environment in which to deliver our Greensteel vision.”
The Scottish Government created the Scottish Steel Taskforce in December 2015, paying some staff a retainer to remain available should a buyer for the plant be found. It also reduced business rates and helped improve energy efficiency at Dalzell in a bid to make Scottish steel more attractive to potential investors.
Margaret Ferrier, MP for Cambuslang, said: “Although the Scottish Steel Task Force has completed its objective of finding an alternative operator for both of the Scottish steel plants, as an active member of the All Party Group on Steel I continue to work constructively on a cross-party basis at Westminster to fight for the steel industry right across the UK.
“I’ve been keeping in close contact with Liberty Steel, who are every bit as eager as I am to see production resume at Clydebridge. The company remains firmly committed to reopening the plant, and making Cambuslang a steel town once again.”