GFG Alliance Continues to Stabilise & Move Business Forward
GFG Alliance, owner of LIBERTY Steel Group, has reported further progress in its operational performance as well as the continued work by the specially appointed Restructuring and Transformation Committee at LIBERTY Steel to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable future for its businesses. Bolstered by strong demand and record prices for steel, alongside improvements in systems and operations, GFG notes strong performance for its core businesses. GFG Alliance Chief Restructuring Officer Mr Jeffrey S Stein said “The RTC has been working closely with LIBERTY Steel Group and its stakeholders globally to develop new business plans and restructure the business. It is encouraging that discussions with creditors continue to progress well and our global restructuring plans continue to develop. In many cases, refinancing options have been oversubscribed. While there remains much to do, we are pleased with the progress made to date and confident in the resilience of the business going forwards. We will continue to publish regular updates on the restructuring and refinancing for the benefit of all of its employees and stakeholders.”
Activity is underway to complete LIBERTY Primary Metals Australia’s refinancing, as global refinancing efforts continue.
At ALVANCE, a strategic deal cementing a long-term commercial relationship with two of the largest trading houses in the world, has been agreed. The deal involves the supply of the raw material requirements of Dunkirk and Duffel, assistance in the marketing of products and provision of hedging facilities. Under the agreement ALVANCE’s debt will be refinanced allowing creditors to be repaid. GFG expects the agreement to be finalised shortly once the reservations of one of the businesses’ creditors over early repayment has been resolved.
GFG reached an agreement with Tata Steel, bringing to an end proceedings launched against LIBERTY Speciality Steels, LIBERTY House Group PTE, and Speciality Steel UK earlier this year.
GFG is now back in control of its 41% stake in sustainable energy generator SIMEC Atlantis Energy following the cessation of the receivers’ appointment over the shares of SIMEC UK Energy Holdings Limited in SIMEC Atlantis Energy and the resignation of the receivers as directors of SIMEC UK Energy.
GFG has settled a post completion dispute with Rio Tinto Group over the acquisition of the Dunkirk aluminium smelter in 2018.
Following the introduction of the new LIBERTY Steel UK management team, led by Subhajit Roy Chowdhury, a new organisational structure has been developed. The new structure lays the foundation for developing LSUK into a competitive, two million tonnes per year GREENSTEEL business with clear centralised functions and operations-focused units. The new management composition will oversee the separation of the Stocksbridge, Brinsworth Narrow Strip, and Performance Steel assets. New business plans are being developed for the LSUK businesses which would allow the LSUK to resume production in the short term and create a more sustainable future for the assets over the longer term
GFG and LIBERTY Steel continue to engage with the BEIS Select Committee inquiry into ‘Liberty Steel & the future of steel industry in UK. GFG has responded in writing to detailed questions from the Committee. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has publicly reiterated his readiness to enable GFG to take time to refinance key operations and repay creditors.
LIBERTY Ostrava, GFG’s business in the Czech Republic, has followed up its strong Q1 results with its best production quarter since 2017. For the quarter to 30 June 2021, it shipped more than 600,000 tonnes of steel products, with production for each month around 200,000 tonnes, the highest sustained monthly levels since 2008. Production for the quarter was almost 80% higher than the covid-19-affected Q2 2020.
LIBERTY Galați, the largest integrated steel producer in Romania, has reported its strongest quarterly results since 2008, building on the production improvements made in 2020. The company reported turnover of EUR 359 million and EBITDA of EUR 52 million for the quarter ending 31 March 2021. This continued the positive progress from the second half of last year. The plant has now raised its production target for 2021 and is accelerating the planning for the strategic projects required to transform the plant to carbon neutrality by 2030.
LIBERTY Magona has now restarted production due to receiving Hot Rolled Coil from LIBERTY Galati, which has now become primary supplier of HRC to our European downstream plants following the operational reorganisation announced at the end of June. LIBERTY expects the ramp up to full production at Magona to be completed in September and at LIBERTY Liege-Dudelange in October.
LIBERTY Steel Group has completed the sale of LIBERTY Ascoval and LIBERTY Rail Hayange to SHS Stahl-Holding-Saar.
The Whyalla Steelworks team in South Australia has continued their site-wide continuous improvement programme, with 85 initiatives across the business now positively impacting bottom line performance through increased efficiency and value realisation.
SIMEC Mining’s Tahmoor Coking Coal Operation posted record annual production and output on the back of significant capital investment by GFG, new state-of-the-art equipment, strong market conditions, and continuous improvement initiatives. The Tahmoor South Project also received conditional approval earlier this year, facilitating a 10-year extension to the mine’s lifespan and the creation of an anticipated 170 jobs.