Monday 19th March 2018
Liberty OneSteel’s Whyalla Steelworks is realising global integration within the GFG Alliance, commencing steel exports to Liberty Steel Newport in Wales.
The first parcel of nearly 25,000 tonnes of steel slabs has been successfully loaded at the Whyalla Port and will spend a month‐and‐a‐half travelling to the Welsh plant. Upon completing the trek – which will see the vessel pass the Cape of Good Hope – the steel will be converted into hot‐rolled coil to service a variety of industrial applications.
Whyalla Steelworks Executive General Manager, Theuns Victor, said the trial was an exciting step as the plant worked towards increasing production to 1.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and beyond.
“This trial is the first element of our integration into the broader Liberty House supply chain, demonstrating we’re now an integral part of a truly global business,” he said.
“These exports will ultimately enable us to increase production, in‐turn resulting in greater utilisation of the plant which helps reduce our overall running costs.”
Mr Victor said the loading had proved a success, thanks to the hard work of the Liberty team in conjunction with SIMEC Mining and key contractors Harsco Metals, Ewings Contractors and Linx Stevedoring.
He said the loading of export parcels would increase in frequency until the steelworks reached its increased production targets, at which point it would become a regular occurrence.
“Although we have a secured customer for the product, we need to be competitive with global steel prices,”
“This trial is therefore crucial in identifying the various challenges and opportunities associated with exporting steel, helping us focus on driving logistics cost down and increasing our global competitiveness.
“It’s also a key aspect in us achieving 1.2mtpa and beyond, as the majority of the additional production that we’re targeting will be earmarked for export.”
This linkage into the broader Liberty House supply chain is at the heart of GFG Alliance’s focus on integrating and innovating to deliver value throughout the manufacturing process.
Image caption: Liberty OneSteel’s Whyalla Steelworks EGM, Theuns Victor, centre, presents a plaque to the captain and crew of the MV Western Miami to signal the historic first export of steel slabs to Liberty Steel Newport in Wales. Some of the slabs can be seen being loaded onto the vessel in the background.