Steel pipe and tube manufacturing will restart at Tredegar from next month. The decision from Liberty House, who rescued the site when it went into administration in 2015 forms part of their ‘Greensteel’ strategy and is the seventh steelworks re-opened in as many months.
In its drive the reform the British steel industry the reopened plant will form the latest link in a supply value chain using green energy to upcycle scrap steel from the melting through to the engineering of advanced products.
Hot rolled coil for the plant will come from the rolling mill at Liberty Steel Newport, itself restarted as part of the same plan in October last year.
The UK has one of the highest dependencies on imports of the core product in the developed world and it is hoped that Tredegar’s output will replace some of that one million tonnes of steel currently imported.
Executive chairman of Liberty House Sanjeev Gupta said: “Tredegar will once again supply steel tube domestically. This is great news for the UK steel industry and for skilled workers in South Wales. It is also another step in turning the tide for the UK’s steel industry. Steel tube is a vital link in the supply chain and adds to the integration which is essential for the sector.”
Tredegar is planning to offer training and apprenticeship opportunities as well as expanding its range of products.
The ‘Greensteel’ initiative comes from 25 years experience in the global steel markets and is part of a vision for a competitive UK steel industry based on the melting and upcycling for the increasing amounts of scrap in the UK.
According to a recent study by Professor Julian Allwood of Cambridge University the volume of recoverable steel in the UK will rise from 10m to 20m tonnes per a year on the next decade. An astounding 70% of this scrap is currently exported for melting, a far higher proportion than other countries and this figure is set to increase. The global market for steel recycling is projected to grow over the next 30 years, but the processes used are out of date and because of that the grade of recycled steel is generally low. The conclusion of the report is that the UK Steel industry can survive if it transforms itself and it can only do this by investing in high-tech facilities for recycling / upcycling, this figure is set to continue to increase
Hundreds of jobs were saved when Liberty House bought parts of the Caparo Group businesses last year. Some of those companies from the group in the West Midlands are now doing well and are providing core and advanced products to the automotive and aerospace industries as well as other areas of manufacturing.
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