Liberty Steel Georgetown, which was idled in April for three months, may not reopen as its parent company, GFG alliance evaluates the plant’s future.
According to media reports, Andrew Mitchell, GFG Alliance’s spokesperson said that large investments would be necessary to bring the 50-year-old plant to acceptable operating status.
Liberty had planned to invest $25mn in the South Carolina facility, including a new electric-arc furnace (EAF) and overhaul its melt shop prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The improvements are necessary to meet cost, quality, and market considerations. However, the investment is being re-evaluated in the face of changing demand resulting from the pandemic.
GFG does not have a definite timetable to finalize its decision on the site. Media reports indicated that the plant could reopen with strategic partnerships at the private, state, and municipal levels if GFG Alliance establishes that market conditions will absorb the additional supply. US raw steel production is operating at 61.5pc capacity utilization at present with robust steel demand expected to return in 2021.
Orders for the wire rode manufactured by the facility are currently being fulfilled from Liberty’s Peoria, Illinois site. The Georgetown mill was previously closed from 2015 until late 2017 when it was acquired by Liberty House from ArcelorMittal USA. Liberty restarted melting and rolling at the mill in mid-2018.