Georgetown Steel Mill reopens after 3-year closure

VIDEO: Georgetown steel mill reopens after 3-year closure

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - More than three years after it closed in 2015 and more than 200 people lost their jobs, the Georgetown Steel Mill reopened Monday

The Mill, now operated by GFG Alliance, made the announcement last Tuesday.  The plant was recommissioned Monday with a ceremony which included former workers who have been rehired by the mill.

Rumors picked up last August that the mill could reopen soon. The official acquisition was announced last December.

GFG is a group of energy and mining businesses headquartered in London. It has a presence in 30 countries and employs 11,500 people worldwide.

The restart puts 125 workers back to work immediately for the plant which is expected to produce 750,000 tons of steel per year. As orders rise, GFG says another 195 people will be hired at the mill.

"This is a historic moment in the story of Liberty Steel and GFG. It marks our first step into the American market and is as much a milestone for us in the USA as the restart of Liberty Steel Newport after a similar shutdown period was in the UK.  That triggered a cascade of major acquisitions, investments and turnaround successes for GFG in the UK.  I very much hope and expect that a similar journey has started today for our family in the USA."

"This first investment is our vote of confidence in the future of metals and heavy industrial sector in the USA," GFG Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said. "GFG's economic model globally has long-term sustainability at its core, based on the development of local resources, including educational and local community development, and the production of quality products for the domestic market.  We bring a new meaning to the phrase "think globally act locally".  Using this model, we see huge opportunities to create competitive, robust and integrated industrial businesses across USA. Restarting such a historic plant as Georgetown gives us a firm entry into the US market."

Gupta added the site will try to keep carbon emissions low and use renewable energy to power the mill.

"As the Senator from Georgetown, I believe it’s my responsibility to ensure businesses have the environment they need to succeed within this district and beyond," State Sen. Stephen Goldfinch said. "My promise to Liberty and their employees is that I will do everything in my power to ensure their success."

The mill has two electric furnaces, but only one has been recommissioned. That furnace has a melting capacity of $500,000 tons per year.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.