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Liberty House purchases Hartlepool mills from Tata Steel

Pipe Fabrication Facility Corus's South Hartlepool Works. The left hand mill fabricates pipes up to 84", the right hand one 42". Image courtesy of Mick Garratt
Pipe Fabrication Facility Corus's South Hartlepool Works. The left hand mill fabricates pipes up to 84", the right hand one 42". Image courtesy of Mick Garratt

Metals and industrials group Liberty House has completed the purchase of two pipe mills in Hartlepool, UK.

Concerns had been growing at the pipe mills in the north-east of England after months of uncertainty. Following the purchase from Tata Steel UK however, Liberty House has announced plans to add around 100 new jobs in a bid to rebuild the struggling operation.

The company hopes to position itself at the head of the 50 million tonne a year global oil and gas pipe market. The aim is to supply the 84”and 42” longitudinal submerged arc welded (LSAW) mills at Hartlepool with steel from its plate facilities in Scotland where it plans to develop capability to make heavy duty API grade steel used in the energy industry. The pipe mills have a combined capacity of 250,000 tonnes a year.

James Annal has been appointed as the head of Liberty House’s newly formed pipe and tube division, Liberty Pipe. He joins with extensive experience, having previously been CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company.

“This is an important first step in our ambition to become a world leader in energy pipe and we are already looking at plants in other countries,” Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, said.

“The acquisition of this high-calibre business and its skilled workforce gives us the basis to upgrade the liquid steel production facilities we’re buying at Whyalla, South Australia and our plate mills at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland to make high-value-added API grade plates that can be rolled at Hartlepool to supply pipeline projects worldwide. This fully-integrated value chain will make us a world leader in this field and help showcase Britain's engineering prowess in supplying a world-class highly-engineered product.”

Liberty’s acquisition of Hartlepool makes it one of Britain’s largest industrial employers, expanding its workforce to close to 5,500 people spread across 30 sites. The agreement will see the neighbouring 20-inch mill, which makes high frequency induction pipe, remain under the ownership of Tata Steel UK.

Pipe Fabrication Facility Corus's South Hartlepool Works. The left hand mill fabricates pipes up to 84", the right hand one 42". Image courtesy of Mick Garratt