Liberty inaugurates new mainland European operations

Liberty Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, this week officially inaugurated seven steelworks and five major service centres in mainland Europe “… as part of the GFG family,” the company tells Kallanish. The sites were acquired from ArcelorMittal at the beginning of July in a €740 million ($816m) deal.

Liberty chairman Sanjeev Gupta also pledged to invest €400 million over five years to build Liberty Steel’s newly acquired European steelworks into “… a major force in the global steel industry.” Liberty has set a goal of expanding sales at the plants by 50% by 2022.

The steelworks are in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, Galati in Romania, Piombino in Italy, Skopje in North Macedonia, Dudelange in Luxembourg and two plants near Liege, Belgium. Taken together, they employ 14,000 people and take the GFG Alliance’s global workforce to nearly 30,000 across 30 countries, the company says.

“The completion of the acquisition triggered the start of a 100-day review during which senior executives from Liberty Steel Continental Europe have been working with local management teams, trade unions, customers and suppliers, to launch a comprehensive analysis of the businesses. This has allowed them to explore investment opportunities and develop detailed plans to boost competitiveness, extend product ranges and support sales growth,” Liberty says.

The mainland European operations, now known as Liberty Steel Continental Europe, is led by Jon Bolton, who is also chairman of the UK Steel trade association. The new pan-European organisation is building an extensive manufacturing supply chain providing materials and components for industry across western Europe, Liberty Steel continues.

Liberty Steel Continental Europe intends to apply elements of GFG Alliance’s so-called Greensteel approach to the sites – including exploring opportunities for renewable energy, and for a reduction in waste, the company adds.