Liberty Steel is celebrating the start of production of its new rebar products in Rotherham.
The steelmaker is investing further in its Rotherham site to boost production to over one million tonnes per annum.
Rebar is used as a tension device for reinforced concrete structures in major road, rail and construction projects.
Following successful summer trials at the Rotherham rolling mill, Liberty started production of its “GreBar” – reflecting its sustainable production from scrap metal melted in an electric arc furnace – in October.
Orders of nearly 10,000 tonnes will be delivered before the end of the year.
Liberty Steel is aiming to challenge the UK’s current reliance on imported rebar and target future infrastructure projects. Half of the 1.2 million tonnes of rebar used annually in the UK is sourced from abroad while the HS2 rail project will require nearly one million tonnes of rebar. Upgrades and replacement of existing residential and transport infrastructure will also fuel future demand.
Peter Gate, Commercial Director of Rebar for Liberty Steel UK said: “The UK government has pledged to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic and our rebar offering made through Liberty’s GREENSTEEL process offers customers the chance to use high-quality steel produced sustainably by a UK business.
“Reducing the UK’s reliance on imported rebar will cut transportation emissions and costs while strengthening the country’s supply chain for major construction projects.
“We have placed particular emphasis on developing the capability to provide 50mm rebar, which will give customers a broader UK market offering in this size and help drive design and cost efficiencies in construction.”
John Healey, MP for the area, said: “We produce some of the best steel in the world here in South Yorkshire. At Thrybergh, Liberty is showing how UK steelmakers can help boost British exports, cut our reliance on imports and lead the way in cutting carbon emissions. This is a win-win-win that Government Ministers must back more strongly.”
Liberty Steel is also pushing ahead with research and development of micro-alloyed steel rebar – not commonplace in the global market – which will have more consistent grain capability that is useful for specific structural applications.
Liberty’s Rotherham mill will ramp up production of GreBar over the coming months, with ultimate capacity to reach 300,000 tonnes per annum.
Images: Liberty Steel / Viktor Macha