Hopes for Galati Steel Company: Liberty invests € 200m investment for the plant’s future

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By Andra Beltz
International metals and industrial entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta today pledged to invest more than €200m in the Galaţi steelworks to help it become a major force in the global steel industry once again. A sign of that investment is the new cutting line opened today by Mr Stefan Radu Oprea, the Romanian Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. The new cutting line will enable Liberty Galaţi to supply a new range of products and customers.
In the presence of the Ministers and Andrew Noble, the British Ambassador, Mr Gupta joined around 300 employees, community leaders, customers and suppliers to formally welcome the Galaţi steelworks into the GFG family. Liberty Galaţi was bought at the beginning of July, along with six other major steelworks and five service centres across seven European countries. The €740 million deal made Liberty Steel one of the top ten steel producers globally, excluding China, with a total rolling capacity in excess of 18 million tonnes covering a wide range of finished products.
Liberty Galaţi is the largest integrated steelworks in Romania, with a workforce of 7,500 and a production capacity of around 3.0 million tonnes of steel each year for construction, marine, oil, gas and wind energy customers. It has already increased production to more than 2.1 million tonnes this year, from around 1.7 million tonnes in 2018. Liberty has ambitious plans to grow that to more than 3 million tonnes and beyond over the next few years. To support that growth Liberty has committed to invest around €200 million in the plant over the next five years and additional funds have been set aside to fund significant strategic investments which are under development.
The completion of the acquisition triggered the start of a 100-day review during which senior executives from Liberty Steel Continental Europe have worked with the Galaţi management team, trade unions, customers and suppliers, to complete a comprehensive analysis of the businesses. This has allowed them to explore investment opportunities and develop detailed plans to boost competitiveness, extend product range and support sales growth.
Sanjeev Gupta, GFG Executive Chairman, said: “I am extremely proud to welcome the thousands of skilled and committed staff at Galaţi into the GFG family. We are committed to a programme of long term investment in Romania, from making the Galaţi plant a beacon of strength and prosperity in the region to specific projects across our core sectors of aluminium, copper, energy and banking. We look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister’s taskforce to help us further develop the plant and the economic wellbeing of its employees, local communities and Romania.”
Jon Bolton, CEO of Liberty Steel Continental Europe added: “Galaţi is a strategically located operation, with an excellent and highly skilled workforce in one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. We look forward to working together with Bogdan and his team to create a bright and sustainable future for Galaţi and our group.”
Bogdan Grecu, CEO for Liberty Galaţi said: “We are very glad to have joined the GFG family and have enjoyed working with Sanjeev and his dynamic team. Their experience of the steel industry and enthusiasm to help us has been fantastic and we look forward to investing in and developing our business for the future.”
Liberty Steel is part of the GFG Alliance; a global group of energy, mining, metals, engineering, logistics and financial services businesses, headquartered in London, with additional hubs in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Paris and New York and a presence in around 30 countries worldwide. The Alliance, which has a global workforce of around 30,000 people and a turnover exceeding US$20 billion, comprises integrated industrials and metals businesses under the “Liberty” banner; a resources, energy, transportation and infrastructure group under “SIMEC”; Wyelands; a banking and financial services arm, as well as its property arm, JAHAMA Estates.

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