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USW: Liberty Steel to Start Production in 2018

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Production is expected to begin next year at Liberty Steel in Georgetown, S.C. The rod and wire mill was acquired by European company Liberty House Group from ArcelorMittal in April.

The Georgetown facility maintains a 600,000-ton electric arc furnace and a 750,000-ton rod mill. It has been idle since 2015.

USW District 1 Director David McCall says workers are expected to begin to return to their jobs in early 2018. "Our track record of operating the Georgetown steelworks productively and profitably for generations under different employers speaks for itself,” he says.

USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo says the union established a good relationship with Liberty management during successful negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement to facilitate the restart.

For Liberty, the Georgetown operation marks the company’s first foothold in the United States. “We’re keen to apply the same low-carbon Greensteel vision here as we are doing in the UK. Acquiring the plant at Georgetown, with its ability to recycle scrap steel in an arc furnace, gives us a strong platform from which to launch our strategy in the USA,” said Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, at the time of the acquisition.