GFG Alliance and Liberty House have launched a plan that could see a new 10 million tonne/year steelworks be built next to the existing steelworks in South Australia’s Whyalla. People will likely call the plan “…crazy,” admitted group owner Sanjiv Gupta, but the project will start with a far more modest 600,000 tonne/year increase in capacity, Kallanish notes.
GFG Alliance has contracted the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) to conduct a feasibility study into building the 10m t/y ‘Liberty Next-Gen Steel’ plant. The capacity is roughly double the 5.3m t/y Australia is currently producing.
Contracts signed worth AUD 600 million ($434m) included those with equipment providers for more immediate upgrades to the plant. These will be the first step in increasing capacity at the steelworks from 1.2 million tonnes/year to 1.8m t/y. MCC subsidiary CISDI Engineering will install pulverized coal injection technology at the blast furnace. Danieli has been contracted to supply a new rail and heavy sections mill. Gupta says he sees a strong future in producing rails in Australia for both domestic demand and for export.
Whyalla will look more and more like Liberty city with a number of other investments announced. These include an AUD 45m hotel, AUD 6m local recycling business and an AUD 145m in a horticulture development. The local council says it expects the local population to jump from 22,000 currently to 80,000 by 2040 if the new plant is built.
GFG has been studying the possibility of a listing of some of its operations, including in Australia.