Steel Mills

Liberty Steel to Acquire, Restart Idled Bayou Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

Liberty Steel Group has been named the preferred buyer for structural steel and merchant bar producer Bayou Steel Group. Liberty Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, will acquire the company for $28 million and plans to restart idled operations at the steel mill in LaPlace, La., by 2021. Liberty expects to have the recycling operations functioning by the second half of 2020.

The acquisition of Bayou will expand Liberty’s existing U.S. steel business that includes operations in Illinois, Ohio, New Mexico and South Carolina. The group is pursuing a GREENSTEEL strategy of focusing on renewable sources of energy and recycled materials, with a view to moving towards carbon-neutral steel production by 2030.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance, sees “good potential for the business” once upgrades and modernization of the Bayou Steel mill are completed to make the mill more competitive. The Louisiana location has reliable access to supplies of recycled steel, competitive power prices and its own deep-water port, said Gupta. The mill has been idled since September 2019.

“Our immediate focus will be on restoring the steel recycling supply chain and operations at the facility,” said Grant Quasha, GFG Alliance’s chief information officer for North America. “Once fully upgraded and operational, the business will bring our total production capacity in the U.S. to 3 million tons per annum, moving us closer to our target of an aggregate 5 million tons of steel production in the U.S.”

The transaction is expected to close on Jan. 30, 2020.

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