john lawrie scrap
John Lawrie Metals processes and ships scrap, included metal harvested from oil rig decommissioning processes, at its Aberdeen, Scotland, location.
Photo courtesy of John Lawrie Group.

Scottish scrap metal business unit bought by ArcelorMittal

Scrap subsidiary of John Lawrie Group acquired by global steelmaker.

Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal has acquired the metal recycling business of United Kingdom-based John Lawrie Group.

Aberdeen, Scotland-based John Lawrie Group posted an announcement March 1 to say that ArcelorMittal had acquired its John Lawrie Metals Ltd. business unit “as part of the company’s strategy of increasing the use of scrap steel to lower CO2 emissions from steelmaking.”

ArcelorMittal joins several steelmakers based in the United States, including Nucor Corp., Cleveland-Cliffs and Steel Dynamics Inc., that have made moves to include scrap processing operations in their portfolios.

The deal was completed at the end of February, according to John Lawrie Group, and the business “will continue to be run by the current management team, including Dave Weston, managing director, and Charlie Parker, chief financial officer.”

Weston says, “Over the last four years we have been pushing the boundaries of metal recycling and reuse, building strategic relationships with our customers and suppliers as we go with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability goals.”

He continues, “We are proud to be the first metal recycling business in Europe to be purchased by ArcelorMittal as part of [its] decarbonization strategy. Our objectives are aligned, and we will continue to focus our drive on providing an end-to-end closed loop service to our suppliers for the removal, recycling and repurposing of industrial metals.”

John Lawrie Metals says its operations offer “unique access” to diversified sources of high-quality scrap steel from the U.K.’s oil and gas industry. The company sources around half its material from the oil and gas market, involving its decommissioning of oil and gas wells in the North Sea. That volume, adds the firm, will “grow significantly” the rest of this decade “due to the energy transition.”

Geert Van Poelvoorde, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, says, “We have identified strong potential for growth in the ferrous scrap processing business, with demand growth in Europe facilitated by the European Union’s initiatives to achieve higher metal recycling rates, reduce CO2 emissions and underpin the EU’s net-zero ambitions. We are therefore very pleased to announce the acquisition of John Lawrie Metals, which represents a further step in our strategy to increase the use of scrap steel across our steelmaking sites.”

John Lawrie Group will continue to offer services related to providing tubular steel products and the decommissioning and demolition of “large oil field, subsea and industrial infrastructure.”