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Labour leader briefed on reawakening of Scottish steelworks
UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, today (25th August) saw first-hand the early stages in the reawakening of an iconic Scottish steelworks which was rescued from permanent closure last year by the Liberty House Group.
The giant Clydebridge plate works at Cambuslang near Glasgow had ceased production and been put in mothballs by previous owners Tata Steel in late 2015 before Liberty bought it, along with sister Dalzell plate mill at Motherwell, in April 2016.
Liberty re-opened Dalzell in September 2016 and, over recent months, has begun using the facilities at Clydebridge as finishing lines for certain types of steel rolled at Dalzell.
During a two-hour visit today, Mr Corbyn, who was accompanied by Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, newly-elected Rutherglen MP, Ged Killen and Glasgow MSP James Kelly, was told how use of Clydebridge works has been increasing gradually as more orders come in for steels that require the heat treatment it provides.
Clydebridge provides processes known as tempering and quenching which give additional strength to certain types of steel. This includes weathering steel, used in bridges, buildings and other exposure structures, which Dalzell and Clydebridge recently began making again for the first time since the plants were mothballed.
The Labour leader and his team met Drew McGhie who is director of both plants and with VB Garg chief executive for Liberty Steel rolling mills. He also spoke to some of the Liberty workers who currently divide their time between Dalzell and Clydebridge
As market demand increases, Liberty intends eventually to have a dedicated workforce based full-time at Clydebridge. Approximately 200 workers are currently based at Dalzell, though this number is expected to rise.
Liberty recently acquired the Hartlepool pipe mills and plans to supply these mills with plate steel from the Scottish plants.
The modern finishing lines at Clydebridge are successors to the huge historic integrated works that once stood on the site. Opened in 1887, the plant, along with Dalzell plate works built its reputation as supplier of steel for legendary ocean liners such as the Mauretania, the Queen Mary and the QE2.
Today the sister plants still provide steel for shipbuilding but also for construction, the oil & gas industry and the manufacture of heavy equipment such cranes and diggers.
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