LIBERTY Steel Group (‘LSG’), part of Sanjeev Gupta’s sustainable industry leader GFG Alliance, has succeeded in its bid to acquire the strategic French steel assets of France Rail Industry business (‘Hayange’) and the Ascoval steelworks (Ascoval). Following the decision in July by the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Strasbourg to award Hayange to LSG, the French government has today given its final approval for the deal which will secure the future of the nationally strategic plants and their 700-strong workforce.
Hayange, located in Moselle, France manufactures a wide range of steel rails for nationally significant infrastructure clients including France’s national rail operator SNCF and RATP, the operator of Paris’ metro system, and is regarded as a strategic asset by the French government. The site, which employs around 430 people, produces over 300,000 tonnes of rail per year. While the French rail market is key to the business, with help from across the LSG network the company will seek to grow sales of rails across Europe and other markets. LSG already has a rail mill supplying the Australian network from its steelworks in Whyalla, South Australia.
Ascoval, based in Saint-Saulve in northern France and which has around 270 employees, was placed into an ad hoc receivership process last year. The plant uses Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) technology and has the capability to produce 600,000 tonnes of steel blooms, billets and other forged products annually from recycled scrap metal. Ascoval will use recycled steel, including recovered scrap rail, to supply Hayange, creating an integrated French GREENSTEEL rail business. Together with Hayange, the plant will create a truly integrated value chain and become LSG’s first steel business in France which provides the platform for further GREENSTEEL production and product developments in France.