Friday, April 29, 2016

ISSB News - Chinese steel production in March 2016

The Iron & Steel Statistics Bureau today comment as follows on Chinese steel production levels in March 2016.

“The decline in Chinese domestic demand for steel has been well documented and there had been reports in the press of government plans to cut some of the older, more polluting capacity and to reduce annual production by around 150 million tonnes in five years. There has been very little evidence of any progress being made in this regard, however, as although Chinese production fell by 3% year on year in the first quarter, the traditionally strong month of March actually saw production increase by 1% to 70.7 million tonnes which, incredibly, represents the highest ever monthly production figure from the country”.

To read more visit or visit our website at for other news.

Andrzej M Kotas

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Liberty House completes acquisition of steel mills

Statement from Liberty House regarding the steel plate works at Dalzell and Clydebridge

Liberty House has completed its acquisition of the former Tata Steel plate making facilities at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Lanarkshire.
The deal involved a back-to-back transaction in which the Scottish Government acquired the two plants from Tata Steel and immediately sold them to Liberty House.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House said: “We’re very pleased to announce that we have completed the deal to acquire Tata’s plate mills in Scotland and we now look forward to continuing to work with local management and the workforce to re-build these great businesses in the months ahead. We’re very grateful for the valuable support of the Scottish Government and the trade unions in concluding this deal. Our team are continuing to evaluate the opportunity to make a bid for other Tata UK assets.”
Commenting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am delighted that the final details of the deal to transfer the Scottish steel plants is now concluded and implemented. We are very grateful to Liberty for their foresight in coming forward to take up this exciting opportunity in Scotland and for the energetic and speedy manner in which they worked with the Scottish Government to help save these jobs. We look forward to working very closely with them in the future.
“When we convened the Scottish Steel Taskforce back in October we did so with a determination not to stand by and watch these plants close, but to do everything possible to secure a new operator, and to do whatever we could to make the plants an attractive proposition. I am delighted that that approach has proved successful.”
 Scottish Business Minister, Fergus Ewing, who chaired the Scottish Steel Taskforce, said: “I was pleased to update the House of Commons Select Committee on this exciting news for the Scottish steel industry when I gave evidence to their inquiry this morning.
 “Over the course of eight taskforce meetings and a lot of other engagement we made significant progress in five key areas to support the industry, namely business rates, energy costs, environmental issues, skills and procurement.  It has been a team effort which has paid off and once again the steelworkers of Scotland will produce world class products from Lanarkshire.
 "The individuals who worked for us from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and SEPA were outstanding in their effort and commitment to the task before us.  I am truly grateful to all these public servants for their work, as well as to the local trades union reps and the management”

Further information from Eoghan Mortell on 07977 555116

Note to Editors

About Liberty House Group
Liberty House Group is an international business, specialising in metals trading and the manufacture and distribution of steel and advanced engineering products. Operating from four strategically-positioned hubs in London, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, the Group has a network of operations spread across 30 countries. The Group is focused on creating a sustainable, balanced international business that is non-cyclical, environmentally conscious and socially responsible, and has an integrated and agile business model.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Financing the future of British steelmaking assets

A number of press reports are commenting on the lack of interest of the UK banking sector in the future financing of British steelmaking assets. For example see which comments that Britain's biggest steel business is such an unattractive prize that most major investment banks are not even angling for the opportunity to advise potential buyers on one of the year's highest profile deals”.

In my own experience, if the investment decision is attractive, the financing decision usually follows. The reluctance of the UK banking sector to get involved with financing any restructuring of British steelmaking assets is therefore telling me that more work needs to be done on the investment decision itself – i.e. on developing an attractive vision of future UK steelmaking – a vision which is cost-competitive and which will prove viable over the longer term.

I will in the coming days be posting some further thoughts on how this might be achieved at sites such as Port Talbot in South Wales.

Andrzej M Kotas, MBA
Managing Director
Metals Consulting International Limited

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Friday, April 15, 2016

British steel - cost of tidal power

Some press reports are suggesting that Liberty Commodities’ plan for Port Talbot is to use electric arc furnaces (rather than blast furnace steelmaking), with the electric power coming from the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

Is this credible?

The UK’s cost of power at ~9p per kWh is already almost double that of continental Europe, where is it ~5p per kWh. Yet the cost of power from the Swansea tidal scheme is said to be several times above the normal wholesale price electricity. See

If this is so, investment in electric arc furnaces at Port Talbot with use of tidal power cannot lead to a viable long-term solution for steel production in south Wales.

For further reports on the future of steelmaking in the UK, visit

Andrzej M Kotas

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

News update - SIMEC Group / Liberty House

Gupta family recruits Jay Hambro to its Strategic Board

The Gupta family, which controls commodities, energy and industrial interests worldwide has today (20th January) appointed Jay Hambro as a senior member of its Group management team.

Mr Hambro, 41, who has been executive chairman of Sino-Russian Hong Kong exchange-listed industrial commodities champion IRC since 2010, is a well-known figure in the international mining and commodities industry. He joins the Guptas’ Group Strategic Board as Group Chief Investment Officer and Chief Executive Officer of SIMEC Energy & Mining Divisions, spearheading the ambitious global development plans of the business.

The Gupta family, which owns two international commodity and industrial groups, SIMEC and Liberty House, has been undertaking major investments in recent months including the purchase of Uskmouth Power Station and reactivation of the Liberty Steel rolling mill, both in South Wales, and the acquisition of most of the former Caparo steel and engineering businesses in the UK West Midlands.

Mr Hambro’s primary role will focus on the aggressive worldwide development of SIMEC, (Shipping, Industrials, Mining, Energy & Commodities), which currently includes a power generating arm and a global portfolio of trading operations focused on the resources sector.

One of his immediate roles will be to lead the completion of the purchase of the Tungsten Bank which Gupta family interests recently entered into an agreement to acquire, as part of its broader strategy to invest in finance for the commodities industry. This is subject to the approval of the Prudential Regulation Authority.

After graduating in business management, Mr Hambro began his career in resource finance with NM Rothschild & Sons, before moving to the investment bank of HSBC, advising multinational mining groups. He then joined what is now the Petropavlovsk plc group in a business development role and later as Chief Investment Officer before spearheading the development of their industrial commodity divisions as Aricom plc (FTSE listed) and more recently at IRC Limited.

Under his leadership the IRC business has become the first vertically integrated industrial commodity producer in Russia; has constructed and commissioned c.30mtpa of iron ore mining and processing operations with a near-term plan of bringing on stream one of the lowest cost new iron ore mines in the world; and has raised well over US$1bn in development finance for these projects.

P K Gupta, Chairman of the SIMEC Group, explained: “Appointing Jay Hambro is a key hire as a part of our evolution and growth plans. Jay has a proven successful track record in buying, building, operating and financing commodity businesses. He is well respected in the sector and I am delighted that he is joining our team.”

Jay Hambro said: “I am very pleased and honoured to be joining this highly successful team. What the group has achieved in creating a dynamic and entrepreneurial business unit focused on commodities is to be commended. I began working closely with the team some months ago on another project and so I am well aware of both their capabilities and their aggressive expansion plans.”

Further information from Jessica Beeken, +44 (0) 7429 176511 .Eoghan Mortell + 44 (0) 07977 555 116

Note to Editors
The SIMEC Group is a multi-faceted commodity business spanning five continents, with operations that extend to an industrial base covering shipping, Industrial, Mining, Energy and Commodities.

Liberty House Group (“Liberty”) is an international steel and non-ferrous metals group, operating from its four hubs in the UK, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, with a global network of offices spread across 30 countries. The Group’s global steel production capacity exceeds 4 million tonnes per annum. Current Group turnover is approximately $6 billion.

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Saturday, November 07, 2015

Free trial - daily steel industry news

We now offer a free trial to our steel industry news pages. To register, visit or contact us for further information.

Andrzej M Kotas
Chief Executive

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Market, technology and cost-price trends in steel

Are you interested in steel market trends, steelmaking technology trends and / or cost price trends in the world steel sector?

All comments and perspectives are provided with the compliments of UK-based Metals Consulting International Limited.

Andrzej M Kotas
Chief Executive

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

World steel export prices

We now publish world steel export prices online. For recent monthly fob prices in $ per metric tonne for hot rolled steel coil, cold rolled coil, hot dip galvanised steel (GI), organic coated sheet (PPGI), tin plate and rebar, visit

With compliments from the steel markets team at

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Friday, February 13, 2015

ArcelorMittal surprises on debt despite bearish outlook

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest producer of steel, warned on Friday of lower profits this year but surprised the market by managing to cut its debt to the lowest level since the company was created in 2006.
The company, which produces about 6 percent of the world's steel, said it expected core profits to drop to between $6.5 and $7 billion in 2015, from $7.2 billion in 2014, as iron ore prices sapped earnings in its mining business and steel market growth cooled from last year. To read more, visit

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Al-Tuwairqi and POSCO to exit from Pakistan

Well - here is a shocking news report.

It would seem that Al-Tuwairqi of Saudi Arabia and POSCO of South Korea, who together invested in the TSML DRI plant in Pakistan, have been unable to secure the low-cost natural gas needed to operate the new DRI facility. Requests to the government of Pakistan to consider TSML’s position have seemingly been ignored; with the result that the DRI plant has not operated since Septem­ber 2013.
In a board meeting held on 27th January 2015 in Dam­­mam, Al-Tuwairqi and POSCO thus decided to permanently close the facility and to exit Pakistan. The investment in the DRI facility was around $340 million. TSML on completion of its integration with steel production was envisioned to be the largest fully integrated steel complex in Pakistan with a capacity of ~1.5 million tonnes per annum. TSML’s exit from Pakistan will therefore be a real blow to the industry.
For this and similar news, check out our steel industry newsfeed at

Andrzej M Kotas
Chief Executive

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