International industrial and metals group Liberty House has formally reopened a steelworks in Wales that shut down a year ago when its former owner, Caparo Steel Products, went into administration.
Liberty is resuming the production of steel structural hollow sections and tubes at the plant in Tredegar with support from the Welsh Government in a move that will create around 70 new jobs directly and many more in the supply chain.
Liberty House is one of the leading suitors for Tata Steel’s UK assets, whose sale process is currently underway, including negotiations with pension funds.
Wales first minister Carwyn Jones, who was accompanied by Liberty’s executive chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, at the event, described it as a great boost for the area and for the steel industry in Wales.
The site, which includes a 100,000 tonnes a year rolling mill, was one of a number of former Caparo Steel Products sites acquired by Liberty from the administrators in late 2015. Liberty is investing £3.7 million in refurbishing and updating the facility which is backed by £600,000 business finance from the Welsh Government.
Gupta said: “The steel industry globally continues to face severe challenges. The sharp rise in raw material prices means that margins for producers are worse than ever and we foresee challenging times ahead”.
“However the United Kingdom is a mature market with customers demanding sophisticated products and exemplary service.
“We have the skills and capability here to serve our home market with high quality products on a competitive basis provided we can operate on a level playing field against our international competitors”.