Reacting to the refinancing news from GFG Alliance, including £50m into Liberty UK with funds to restart the furnaces in Rotherham, local Labour MP John Healey said:
“This is a breakthrough after months while Liberty workers have been left in limbo. Liberty is at the heart of steelmaking in Rotherham, and we’ve been holding our breath for the working capital to restart production. But £50 million won’t be enough for long, so full long-term refinancing for Liberty UK now needs to follow rapidly from the deal for Liberty Australia. Only then, will Rotherham breathe more easily.
“It’s a year since I first met with Sanjeev Gupta on site at Rotherham to discuss Liberty’s future financing and growth. He’s proved the company can get new finance agreed with creditors for Australia, now they must do the same for the UK.
“Urgent government action is also needed to deal with the growing crisis for firms hit by the crippling rise in their energy costs. British Ministers have so far washed their hands of this growing crisis, when governments in the rest of Europe have stepped in to support their industry, even though their steelmakers have lower energy costs.”
UK steel producers pay 50-80% more for electricity than in Germany.