Liberty Steel has announced that it will merge all its operations in the steel sector globally into one company named Liberty Steel by the end of this year. The combined entity will have 18 million tonnes/year capacity for rolled steel and a presence in 10 different countries including the UK, the US, Australia and Europe.
Despite being family-owned, Liberty Steel will start operating as a listed company from next year, increasing therefore transparency on its operations, Sanjeev Gupta, ceo of the GFG Alliance said in Milan this week. The company had already foreshadowed the move earlier this month (see Kallanish 11 October).
The group will also begin to implement a strategy to make its operations carbon-neutral by 2030. The strategy will focus on changing its integrated steelmaking into EAF-based as much as possible and using renewable energy as a source of power. Gupta notes that the complete achievement of the 2030 goal is expected to be made possible through the use of hydrogen in steelmaking, a technology he believes is on the verge of becoming available.
With its latest acquisitions in Europe, Liberty Steel has become the fourth-largest steel manufacturer in Europe. Gupta explains that the focus for the newly acquired units in Europe is to become efficient rather than to increase volumes. He confirms also that the group is also playing its part in the current need to reduce iron and steel output in Europe due to the ongoing overcapacity crisis. This is happening at the integrated plant in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
“I agree European steelmakers acted too late, but we have moved to reduce output as quickly as possible in Ostrava,” Gupta comments. “I can only hope the market will improve in Europe from next year, but we will keep the situation under review.”