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Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance begins preparation for restart of Georgetown mill in South Carolina
Liberty Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, is to begin recruitment for its recently-acquired mill at Georgetown, South Carolina, as it prepares to re-open the iconic plant and begin a new era for steelmaking in the state.
Following maintenance and upgrade of equipment, the company aims to restart production at the plant in the second quarter of the year and intends to operate its electric arc furnace at full capacity as soon as feasible.
Over the remainder of 2018, Liberty Steel Georgetown (LSG) will focus on ensuring wire rod coils from its rolling mill are meeting customer specifications and, thereafter, the plant will ramp up production to meet customer demand.
In particular, during the re-start phase, Liberty will be holding discussions with potential customers on their future requirements for qualities and coil weights. This will include a proposal to improve efficiency and reduce costs for customers through increasing coil weights by between 20% and 25%.
Initially LSG will concentrate on producing volumes of PC Strand grade wire rod and deformed rebar in coil, both of which will supply the US market for infrastructure steels. At the same time, Georgetown will be concentrating on re-gaining certifications and approvals the plant previously held with high-end customers.
Excess billet from Georgetown will be offered first to Liberty plants outside the USA and, if available, some will be sold into the domestic market.
Georgetown steelworks was a pivotal part of South Carolina’s industrial infrastructure for nearly 70 years until it was shuttered by previous owners in 2015. Liberty now aims to restore it to its former position of prominence and bring hundreds of skilled jobs back to the local economy.
Liberty acquired the plant from ArcelorMittal in December 2017 and following some initial work on site is now in a position to begin recruitment.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty Steel and the GFG Alliance said: “We are very excited about restarting Georgetown to serve the American wire rod market. This will provide customers with a valuable new source of supply to support their businesses as well as delivering high-quality employment opportunities for residents of the city and surrounding communities. We’re very encouraged by the number of inquiries we’ve had from prospective customers, so we’re eager to get back up and running at Georgetown as quickly as possible.”
“This is the first step in our wider investment program in the American steel industry, which will unfold over the coming months. Based on our sustainable GREENSTEEL model, we believe the industry has a bright future in the US,” he added.
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