Steel News

Liberty House Pulls U.S., U.K. Mills Out of the Mothballs

2/20/2018 - The United Kingdom’s Liberty House Group has restarted an idled electric arc furnace in England and said it plans to put a closed U.S. wire rod mill back into service within the next four months.

In England, the N furnace at Liberty Specialty Steels in Rotherham was switched on during a ceremony that included Prince Charles.  

"The switch-on marks the culmination of five months engineering work by a team of 35 people to repair and upgrade the equipment. It will triple Liberty’s capacity to melt scrap into liquid steel at Rotherham, making the company the largest steel recycler in the UK, with a capability to melt over 1.2 million metric tons a year," the company said in a statement. 

The furnace, which has an annual capacity of 800,000 metric tons, was idled by former owner Tata Steel during the industry crisis more than two years ago. 

Meanwhile in the U.S., Liberty House said it is looking to return the former ArcelorMittal wire rod plant in Georgetown, S.C., to service in the second quarter. 

The company said it initially will focus on making PC strand grade wire rod and deformed, coiled rebar. 

"During the re-start phase, Liberty will be holding discussions with potential customers on their future requirements for qualities and coil weights. This will include a proposal to improve efficiency and reduce costs for customers through increasing coil weights by between 20% and 25%," Liberty said in a statement. 

The company also said it will be work to re-obtain certifications the plant previously held with high-end customers. It added that excess billet will be sold to Liberty’s overseas plant. But if any remains, it will sell it into the domestic market, it said.