Tuesday 29 October 2019 12:01 am

GFG Alliance launches $15bn Liberty Steel Group

GFG Alliance, Sanjeev Gupta’s family-owned conglomerate, today announced plans to merge its worldwide steel plants into one global business worth $15bn (£11.7bn).

The Liberty Steel Group, which will combine operations in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia, will be incorporated by the end of the year.

Read more: Sanjeev Gupta in fresh talks over British Steel bid

The business will empoy 30,000 people in ten countries and will become the world’s eighth-largest steel producer outside China, with a total capacity of 18m tonnes a year.

Speaking at the World Steel Dynamics’ European Conference in Milan, Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance, said: 

“We are creating a new force in steel with the size, scale and agility to forge a path towards a sustainable future for our steel businesses and the communities in which we operate.”

Central to the new group’s ambitions will be becoming the world’s first carbon neutral steel company by 2030.

GFG’s Greensteel strategy will focus on using electric arc furnaces to recycle scrap steel, rather than producing all material from scratch.

Jay Hambro, GFG’s chief investment officer, said that the company was confident that their existing technology could get them two-thirds of the way to their goal by 2030.

He added that the remaining step would come from new technologies such as hydrogen generated from renewable power to produce steel. Liberty Primary Steel, one of the group’s new divisions, will lead the company’s hydrogen operations.

Current renewable initiatives include the Cultana solar farm in Australia, Glenshero hydro-electric plant in Scotland and Newport waste-to-energy project in Wales. 

Hambro also said that the merger was part of GFG’s commitment to supporting and developing foundation industries around the world, many of which are increasingly neglected by major businesses.

Fautine Delasalle, Director of the Energy Transitions Commission, said: “I am delighted to see pioneering companies like Liberty Group turn that vision in practice and send a clear message to the market that green steel will be available at commercial scale and sooner than one might think.” 

Read more: Chinese steel maker Jingye in new bid for British Steel

There has been speculation whether Liberty House, which owns steel plants in Hartlepool and Scunthorpe, would make an offer for British Steel after the latter’s deal with Turkish company Ataer fell through. GFG declined to comment.

In July Liberty Steel completed the acquisition of seven major steelworks and five service centres across seven European countries from ArcelorMittal for €740m (£639m).

Main image credit: Getty