Steel works ready to roll

Cam­bus­lang pro­duc­tion steps up

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

The Cly­de­bridge steel plant moth­balled 18 months ago is be­ing re­vived as its owner em­barks on a new project.

Lib­erty Steel, which bought Cly­de­bridge and Dalzell steel works last year, says pro­duc­tion at the Cam­bus­lang plant is be­ing stepped up as it starts pro­duc­tion of weath­er­ing steel.

Used for struc­tures such as bridges, build­ing fa­cades and land­mark pieces of public art, weath­er­ing steel is an en­vi­ron­men­tally tough grade of plate steel which had been made at the iconic La­nark­shire steel­works in the past.

Lib­erty Steel man­age­ment said they were ea­ger to re­in­state pro­duc­tion of this grade of plate as soon as the op­por­tu­nity arose.

Drew McGhie, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Lib­erty Steel Dalzell, said: “By ex­pand­ing the num­ber of grades we make, we can en­sure a brighter fu­ture for the work­force.

“We’ve started mak­ing use of the Cly­de­bridge equip­ment over re­cent months but the ad­di­tion of weath­er­ing steel to our range means we will now be us­ing that plant more reg­u­larly.”

He said there were great mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties for weath­er­ing steel be­cause there is cur­rently very lim­ited pro­duc­tion of this type of steel in the UK and al­most all needs to be im­ported from con­ti­nen­tal Europe.

Mr McGhie added that work­ers from Dalzell - which re­sumed op­er­a­tions in Septem­ber 2016 - will op­er­ate at Cly­de­bridge for an in­terim pe­riod un­til de­mand reaches a level that will sus­tain a res­i­dent work­force in Cly­de­bridge.

Dalzell, which cur­rently em­ploys 120 staff, is the last re­main­ing large plate mill in the UK and makes steel that is used in ar­eas such as con­struc­tion, ship build­ing, pipe­lines, cranes and heavy ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­ture.

The plant forms part of Lib­erty’s GREENSTEEL vi­sion as it uses re­new­able en­ergy in the form of biodiesel to power its rolling mill and other equip­ment.

The site cur­rently has 18 megawatts of in­stalled bio-diesel elec­tric­ity gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity.

The twin sites in La­nark­shire are likely to add fur­ther to their range in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Fol­low­ing its ac­qui­si­tion of the for­mer Tata pipe mills at Hartle­pool last week, Lib­erty dis­closed that it in­tends to start mak­ing API grade plate steel at its Scot­tish sites that can be rolled at Hartle­pool into the high­est spec­i­fi­ca­tion oil and gas pipe­lines.

Cly­de­bridge and Dalzell steel plants closed in De­cem­ber 2015 when Tata Steel ceased op­er­a­tions.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment cre­ated the Scot­tish Steel Task­force, pay­ing some staff a re­tainer to re­main avail­able should a buyer for the plants 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.

Lib­erty House com­pleted its takeover of the plants in April 2016.

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