Exciting times as dead steel plant given Lazarus treatment.
As the crisis engulfing the UK’s steel industry continues, it was with great joy to hear that one firm has bucked the trend by announcing plans for the country’s first renewable energy-powered ‘super plant’ in Newport. On a visit to the old power station at Uskmouth Jessica Morden, John Griffiths, Jayne Bryant and I were given the good news that new steel jobs will hopefully be be created in the city.
The steel plant owned by Liberty House and the adjacent power station run by SIMEC on the banks of the River Usk, are to be merged into the UK’s first GREENSTEEL facility capable of processing two million tonnes of the material a year.
The firms, which are both owned by the Indian Gupta family, will work together to increase the existing rolling capacity at the Liberty plant while the coal-fired SIMEC power station will be concerted to eco-friendly biomass.
Liberty’s executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said he believes the plans would create new jobs and support the struggling steel industry. He said, "This was a very valuable opportunity to brief Newport’s elected representatives about our GREENSTEEL vision, which we believe will generate many new skilled jobs in the city and ultimately make a major difference to the whole UK steel and wider manufacturing sectors," he added. “Historically Newport has been one of the country’s most important steel-making locations so it’s very appropriate that this is the springboard for our GREENSTEEL plans”. “If we can make steel competitively in the UK, we can generate potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs in the manufacturing sector nationwide.”
This announcement is a very welcome one that creates new hope for a renaissance of Newport's manufacturing capacities in sustainable, job-rich renewable technologies.