GFG Alliance finalises buyout of Tasmanian alloy smelter

South32 and Anglo American have finalised the sale of the Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) smelter to GFG Alliance. TEMCO is powered by renewable energy through Hydro Tasmania, with GFG aiming to continue using the facility as part of Australia’s steel industry.

The sale of the TEMCO smelter at Bell Bay has been finalised with assurances given that the jobs of the 250 people employed there are safe. The future of the smelters operations had been in doubt since May 2019 when its owner South32 announced it was reviewing its Australian and South African alloy smelters with divestment or sales the preferred options.

A closure of the plant, or placing it into care and maintenance, were also options under consideration by South32. GFG Alliance entered into a binding sale and purchase agreement with the company in August 2020.

GFG Alliance executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said the acquisition had secured the jobs of the smelter’s workforce. “We are committed to seeing this facility continue to play an important role in the future of the Australian steel industry,” he said.

“Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030 and I am proud to invest in a state like Tasmania which has a plentiful supply of renewable energy resources.”

The smelter has been renamed LIBERTY Bell Bay after LIBERTY Steel Group, part of the GFG Alliance. LIBERTY Steel Group is the eighth largest steelmaker in the world outside China.

Mr Gupta said the company’s investment in ferromanganese and silicomanganese would generate supply chain value to ensure a sustainable and globally competitive steel manufacturing sector. He said the Bell Bay smelter was one of the greenest ferro alloy facilities in the world.

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