Steel delivery signals start of new era for Dalzell

liberty-steel-dalzellThe re-opening of one of two former Tata Steel plants in Lanarkshire that were mothballed last year has moved a step closer with the first delivery of steel slab to the site for nearly a year.

Around 1,500 tonnes of slab from the British Steel plant at Scunthorpe arrived by train at the Dalzell plate mill at Motherwell in preparation for the restart of steel plate production by new owners Liberty House Group next month.

The move re-establishes a supply chain broken when Tata Steel announced the closure of Dalzell and its Clydebridge plant in Cambuslang with the loss of 270 jobs.

Both were later bought by international metals firm Liberty House which began the complex process of rebuilding the business.

Plate steel from the plant is used by a wide variety of industries including ship building, heavy vehicle manufacture, construction and wind power generation.

Around 60 staff are already engaged in preparations to re-open Dalzell, with a further 40 expected to join the workforce before the site starts to produce plate again. About 70 per cent of the initial wave of recruits are former employees returning to their old jobs.

The business has also hired apprentices to ensure it is developing skills for the future.

In addition, the works is supporting additional local jobs through the award of about 20 new supply contracts, for business and engineering services, to firms in the Motherwell area,

Jon Bolton, chief executive of Liberty Steel UK plate division, said: “This is a significant milestone for the plates business in Scotland, but also positive news for the UK steel sector as steel once again is manufactured in British Steel’s Scunthorpe site to be rolled in Scotland. It is pleasing to watch the plant gradually coming back to life as more people arrive on site and particularly pleasing to welcome young apprentices to the team.”

Executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, Sanjeev Gupta, said the delivery was the beginning of the fulfilment of a promise to the local community.

“We said we would revive this historic steelworks and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.

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