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December 3, 2019

Liberty Steel plans to merge into global group

Liberty Steel Group, part of London-based GFG Alliance, has announced plans to form a single global company with 18 million metric tons of rolled steel capacity annually through the consolidation of GFG Alliance’s steel businesses. According to a news release from Liberty Steel, the company also has a goal to lead the industry toward a carbon-neutral future.

Photo: Liberty Steel Group

Liberty Steel Group, which employs about 30,000 people in 10 countries, will be incorporated by the end of this year through a merger of GFG Alliance’s upstream and downstream steel manufacturing, mining and distribution businesses around the world. As a result, Liberty Steel Group will be the eighth largest steel producer outside of China, with operations stretching from Australia to continental Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, and it will have annual sales of about $15 billion, the company reports in a news release about the consolidation. Although individual businesses will retain a high degree of autonomy, the company says consolidated accounts will be produced and a united strategy will be developed.

“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,” said Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman and CEO at GFG Alliance, during World Steel Dynamics’ European Conference in Milan Oct. 29. “Our integrated group will stretch around the world, with a financial and governance structure suitable for an intercontinental business of our size.”

Liberty Steel will include operations drawn from Liberty House in the U.K., Liberty Steel Continental Europe, Liberty Steel USA, Infrabuild and Liberty Primary Steel and Mining Australia. The company says it will have three divisions: Liberty Primary Steel, Liberty GreenSteel and Liberty Engineered Steel.

According to Liberty Steel, the merged group will transition its existing blast furnaces to electric arc furnaces (EAFs), invest in new EAFs and pilot new clean technologies. It also will aim to tackle emissions at its sites by exploring technologies that include direct-reduced iron and carbon capture and storage. The company adds that it will continue to participate in developing various forms of renewable energy through its sister company SIMEC Energy.

Novelis invests in aluminum recycling

Atlanta-based aluminum company Novelis Inc. has broken ground on a $36 million investment at its Greensboro, Georgia, facility that is designed to expand and upgrade its recycling capacity. The company is adding equipment for aluminum scrap recycling and a new baghouse for improved dust mitigation. It also is enhancing the facility’s design to ensure safer and more efficient traffic flow. Novelis says it expects the expansion to be completed by the fall of 2021.

The investment will expand Novelis’ capabilities to recycle automotive stamping scrap in a closed loop. The facility also will continue to recycle used beverage cans (UBCs).

Photo: Novelis
From left: Novelis North America COO Tom Boney, Georgia Department of Economic Development COO Bert Brantley, Novelis North America President Marco Palmieri, Greensboro Plant Manager Beatriz Landa, Novelis North America VP of Operations Kevin Shutt, Greene County Development Authority Chairman Rabun Neal and Greene County Commission Chairman Gary Usry

“Currently, we have closed-loop recycling programs in place with Ford and other automotive customers,” says Daniel Groce, communications lead and government affairs, Novelis. “We are always exploring new opportunities to establish closed-loop recycling partnerships. Closing the loop preserves the value of the alloy, reduces costs, minimizes environmental impact and establishes a more secure supply chain.”

He says the initial startup cost of establishing a closed-loop recycling program with an automaker can be challenging, adding, “but we have proven that these investments are worthwhile.”

Groce says, “There will be a nominal increase in capacity, but the primary focus is enabling our Greensboro facility to recycle automotive scrap and modernizing the plant.”

“As automakers continue to choose aluminum as the sustainable material of choice, we are investing in our recycling capabilities to increase the amount of recycled content in new vehicles and reduce carbon emissions,” says Marco Palmieri, senior vice president and president, Novelis North America. “This investment aligns with our purpose of Shaping a Sustainable World Together and demonstrates our commitment to helping our customers meet their sustainability targets.”

In addition, the upgrades will enhance the facility’s safety systems. For example, the new design will more effectively separate pedestrian walkways from mobile equipment traffic, Novelis says.

Beatriz Landa, Novelis Greensboro plant manager, says, “This investment enables us to continue to modernize our facility and capabilities to serve an even broader customer base for years to come.”

The announcement also has the support of political officials in Georgia.

Gov. Brian P. Kemp says, “Any time one of our home-based companies expands, it is good news for business in Georgia. Novelis’ 40-year history in Greensboro has created countless opportunities for hardworking Georgians in the region, and I look forward to watching their continued success in the years to come.”

Georgia Congressman Jody Hice says, “The expansion of the Greensboro plant is indicative of its sustained success, and I look forward to a flourishing partnership in the years to come.”