Liberty forges ahead with acquisition of plant to build large scale tubular steel structures

The Liberty House Group has acquired plant to make wind turbine towers, T-pylons and other large scale tubular steel parts.

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The acquisition is said to be part of Liberty’s so-called ‘Greensteel’ strategy to build a fully integrated steel and engineering business across Britain.

The equipment is central to a new manufacturing centre to supply the off-shore wind market and turbine casings for Tidal Lagoon Power, whose first project is a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay. Liberty’s newly acquired steel plants at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland will make the heavy-duty steel plate required for the towers.

Liberty, part of the GFG Alliance, bought the steel tower production equipment that was closed down in September 2015 by Mabey Bridge Renewables in Chepstow, South Wales.

Equipment at the facility makes towers of up to 56m tall by five metres diameter for on-shore wind installations. Liberty has plans to upgrade the facility to make 110m x 10m towers for the offshore wind industry. The plant will also make towers and cross-sections for the National Grid’s newly introduced 35m tall T-Pylons.

In a statement, the Group’s executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “It is particularly appropriate that this new business will supply the renewable energy market in view of our own Greensteel strategy, which involves investing in green energy as the basis of a competitive UK steel and engineering industry.

According to a spokesman, Liberty’s Greensteel vision involves the melting and recycling/upcycling of scrap steel generated in the UK, with the process being powered by a variety of renewable sources including biomass, gasification of waste and tidal lagoon power.

“We are hoping to convert the current SIMEC coal-fired Uskmouth Power Station at Newport to biomass with waste-to-energy on the same site and tidal power generated by lagoons in the nearby Severn Estuary,” he said. “All of this is adjacent to the Liberty Steel plant at Newport, which we hope will eventually be powered by renewables. The wider vision is to have steel plants across the UK powered by green energy and melting UK scrap to supply the home market with new steel.”

Liberty will announce the location of its new manufacturing centre within the next few weeks.