GFG Alliance acquires Scottish power plant and smelter
Deal will secure the jobs of more than 150 workers on site and hundreds more in the local and regional supply chain
SIMEC and Liberty House, part of the international energy, metals and industrials group GFG Alliance, have reached an agreement with Rio Tinto Aluminium to buy the hydro-power and aluminium smelting operation at Lochaber near Fort William for £330 million.
The acquisition will secure the jobs of more than 150 workers on site and hundreds more in the local and regional supply chain.
The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the next four weeks, will include: the hydro plants at Lochaber and neighbouring Kinlochleven, the Lochaber aluminium smelter and the more than 100,000-acre estate which hosts the water catchment area, including the foothills of Ben Nevis.
GFG’s energy business, SIMEC, will own and operate the hydro plants as part of its growing portfolio of renewable power assets in the UK, and the Liberty House Group will own and develop the aluminium business by integrating the smelters with the group’s downstream engineering and manufacturing activity in Scotland and beyond.
The group’s investment at Lochaber is being backed by the Scottish government through a variety of business support mechanisms, in particular through support for a Liberty contract to purchase power from the hydro-electric plants.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House Group and of the GFG Alliance strategic board, said: “This transaction fits very well with our vision to develop a sustainable and competitive metals industry in the UK as a key part of our global industrial business. This is a natural next step for us in our Scottish investment programme and is a springboard for wider manufacturing growth, creating many more jobs in Scotland. We are immensely grateful for the continuing support of the Scottish government and for their far-sighted approach to industry.”
Jay Hambro, chief investment officer of the GFG Alliance and chief executive of SIMEC energy and mining divisions, adds: “This is a significant boost to our renewables portfolio and will be another major step towards reducing our carbon footprint in metals production.”
The agreement comes less than six weeks after Liberty reopened the steel plate mill at Dalzell near Glasgow, which had been mothballed by previous owners.