Liberty acquires Dongbu EAF, strip mill for Galati

Liberty has agreed to purchase the Dongbu Steel plant and associated equipment from South Korean parent company KG Steel, for installation at its Romania-based Galati steelworks, Kallanish notes.

The plant, located in Dangjin, South Korea, comprises two modern, Consteel 160-tonne electric arc furnaces, two single strand, vertically-curved thin slab continuous casters, and a hot strip mill. It has an installed liquid steel capacity of 3 million tonnes/year and finished steel products capacity of 2.85m t/y.

“Technical studies conducted by Liberty indicate that the Dongbu plant has the potential to perform at the highest standards in the sector against KPIs including CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, cost, operational flexibility and product range,” Liberty says.

The equipment will allow Galati to transition to low-carbon EAF operations several years faster than previously planned and at significantly lower cost compared with alternative options analysed, it adds.

Dongbu Steel was acquired by KG Group in 2019 (see Kallanish passim). Creditors attempted but failed to sell financially-troubled Dongbu in 2014 and 2017. As part of its restructuring, the firm sought a buyer for its EAFs but was unsuccessful until now.

Last summer, Liberty Galati launched the tender process for the supply of hybrid EAFs (see Kallanish passim). This is thought to be going ahead despite the latest acquisition from Korea. The new EAFs at Galati will replace the existing blast furnaces by 2025, allowing the Romanian mill to be more flexible by using hot metal, direct reduced iron (DRI/HBI) and scrap steel in the charge mix.

Adam Smith Poland