The re-opening of the iconic Dalzell plate mill at Motherwell moved a step closer this week 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 Dalzell in preparation for the restart of steel plate production by new owners Liberty House Group next month.
This re-establishes a supply chain broken when production ceased at the mill in December last year. Liberty acquired the Scottish works from former owners Tata in March and 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% 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.
Further information from Eoghan Mortell/Kara Williams
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