The GFG Alliance has announced plans to create a total of five million tonnes of low-carbon steelmaking capacity over the next five years as part of a drive to develop a green and competitive future for manufacturing in the UK. This equates to half of all the steel made in Britain at present.
The GFG Alliance, which already employs 5,500 workers at its Liberty House UK steel and engineering plants, disclosed that, as part of its own GREENSTEEL strategy, it aims to recycle at home a large proportion of the 7.2Mt/yr of scrap steel currently exported from the UK each year. This low-carbon secondary steel production would displace much of the 6.6m tonnes of raw steel currently imported into Britain each year.
At present the UK exports more of its scrap for processing abroad than any other developed economy and GFG says this abundant raw material – 10Mt/yr rising to 20Mt/yr within a decade – provides the country with a huge opportunity to drive clean growth by making low-carbon steel at home.
Liberty is already a leading producer of recycled steel, with a melting capacity of 1.1Mt/yr in the UK and 1.2Mt/yr in Australia.’
Jay Hambro, chief investment officer of the GFG Alliance – which includes Liberty House and SIMEC Energy – said: “The Government’s White Paper acknowledges clearly that green energy and industrial competitiveness go hand-in-hand and we welcome the document’s emphasis on clean growth. That link between energy and industry has been at the heart of our own GREENSTEEL strategy and we are greatly encouraged to see public policy going strongly in this direction. GREENSTEEL, made using renewable energy, has only one tenth of the carbon footprint of blast furnace production and should form a key part of the clean growth focus.”
Hambro added: “Driverless and electric cars, as mentioned in the new industrial strategy are a great innovation and the quest for cleaner engines is also a step in the right direction. However, it is worth remembering that all cars will need steel, aluminium and composite materials whichever the engine or driver, so the focus of clean growth must capture this. As the UK’s largest primary aluminium producer and one of the largest steel and engineering groups, we are heavily involved in the new developments which will achieve these goals. We are on a constant drive to create clean growth and are delighted to see this highlighted today by Government.”
“We share the Government’s vision for a rejuvenated manufacturing base that is sustainable both economically and environmentally. In the years ahead, UK industry will be both green and competitive to support increases in productivity.” he said.