Liberty outlines major steel investment programme across Europe

Liberty Steel plans to invest €2 billion ($2.16 billion) into its Continental Europe business after completing a 100-day strategic review following its acquisition of the plants last summer.

The group plans to “…create a new champion in European steel with a clear focus on carbon neutrality by 2030,” says Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of Liberty Steel parent GFG Alliance.

Its Galati steelworks in Romania will see a $1 billion ten-year investment programme that includes major upgrades to its casters, rolling mills and coating lines, which will enhance the unit’s product offering. Also planned is the installation of an electric arc furnace to reduce emissions and the steelworks’ dependency on imported natural resources.

The investment aims to increase Galati’s share in the Romanian domestic market and raise production to 4 million tonnes/year of steel over time. Galati will also construct a captive lime plant to further enhance competitiveness.

Since acquitting Galati, Liberty has carried out improvements including the starting of a new cutting line, work on the installation of a new hot stove and environmental projects, the firm says.

Liberty’s Ostrava steelworks in Czech Republic will undergo a $750 million ten-year investment programme to install by 2024 new hybrid steel-making technology – a first in Europe, the steel group claims. It will also carry out a major modernisation of its rolling mills.

“The new hybrid steel-making technology will allow the business to utilise higher volumes of local steel scrap to reduce the reliance on imported natural resources, lower CO2 emissions and enable greater flexibility by switching or blending blast furnace and electric arc furnace steelmaking,” Liberty says in a statement sent to Kallanish.

In the next five years the Ostrava plant, in collaboration with the government, also plans to install a high voltage power line to support further electrification of processes to reduce emissions.

Liberty also plans a $100m investment to improve the quality, performance and output of galvanised steel products at its Liege-Dudelange works, which will improve competitiveness.

Moreover, at its Magona plant it will spend $100m to upgrade and extend the organic coated and galvanised lines to restore the unit’s long-term profitability.

Finally, at the Skopje plant it will invest $25m to increase and improve organic coated capacity by upgrading existing lines and broadening its product and service portfolio.