German steelmaker SHS, Stahl-Holding-Saar, has announced the new names for the recently acquired Liberty Rail Hayange and Liberty Ascoval, the company said on Sept. 7.
The France-based rail plant at the Hayange location formerly called Liberty Rail Hayange) will be called Saarstahl Rail, while the EAF steel plant in Saint-Saulve, formerly Liberty Ascoval, will trade under the name Saarstahl Ascoval.
“With the selected company names we want to highlight the affiliation of the two plants to the Saarstahl Group and to our corporate strategy, both internally and for the public… [This] is part of the ongoing integration of the two plants into the Saarstahl Group production network,” said Klaus Richter, chief sales and marketing officer of Saarstahl.
The company, which is a major European manufacturer of quality long steel products, underscored that Saarstahl Rail’s rail business will be a key element in the its future strategy: “We want to produce high-quality infrastructure products there and thus actively shape and advance the development of sustainable mobility solutions. With Saarstahl Ascoval, we have also intentionally invested in a new route using electric arc furnace to produce green steel,” Richter added.
On Aug. 5, SHS purchased from Liberty Steel Group the French steelmaking operations Liberty Ascoval and Liberty Rail Hayange to support its move toward production of green steel and to advance its diversification strategy. Ascoval’s production is based on EAF technology, which emits considerably less carbon than the more traditional blast furnace-based steelmaking route.
Hayange, which produces railway infrastructure products, will contribute to Europe’s current drive toward sustainable mobility solutions.
Liberty Steel Group has been seeking to divest some of its assets since the collapse in March of Greensill Capital, the major financier of its parent company GFG Alliance.
Ascoval had been in administration prior to the acquisition of both Ascoval and Hayange by Liberty Steel Group in 2020. Both the Ascoval and Hayange mills had originally been part of British Steel, which entered compulsory liquidation in May 2019 and was purchased by China’s Jingye Group in March 2020. In May this year, the French government loaned Eur20 million ($24.2 million) to Ascoval and Hayange to cover working capital and capital expenditures amid a cash squeeze, according to sources.
— Annalisa Villa