Steel works ready to roll
Cambuslang production steps up
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.