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10 November 2016, 06:06
A steelworks which closed a year ago is being reopened, creating new jobs and some positive signs for the industry.
Liberty House said the site at Tredegar in South Wales will employ 70 workers, with many more jobs created in the supply chain.
The plant, in the South Wales Valleys, is one of a number of former Caparo Steel Products sites bought from administrators by Liberty.
The company is investing £3.7 million in refurbishing the facility, which includes a 100,000-tonnes-a-year rolling mill, with production of steel structural sections and tubes now resuming.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House, said: ``The reopening of Tredegar is very good news for our economy because it will be replacing imports with home-made products and creating sustainable skilled jobs here in Wales.''
He welcomed the ``enthusiastic support'' of the Welsh Government, which is backing the reopening with #600,000 of business finance.
Mr Gupta said the steel industry globally continues to face ``severe'' challenges, adding: ``The sharp rise in raw material prices means that margins for producers are worse than ever and we foresee challenging times ahead.
``The launch of Liberty Steel Tredegar is another step in our continued drive to establish an integrated and competitive steel business in Wales and the wider UK, based on our sustainable Greensteel business model which will ultimately involve making steel from recycled material using renewable energy sources.
``Steel is a foundation industry upon which much of UK industry rests. It is critical to the future of the British economy and nowhere more so than here in Wales.''
Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones said: ``Liberty has a proven track record within the steel sector and is one of a few companies expanding in today's challenging climate.
``This is another strong commitment from Liberty and I welcome their plans to modernise the site and employ former staff, retaining local skills.
``The reopening of the steelworks will provide a significant boost to the local economy, creating 70 new jobs and supporting job creation through the supply chain.''