Liberty Steel Group will shut down its integrated Georgetown steel mill in South Carolina for at least three months due to deteriorating economic conditions since the onset of COVID-19.
A few workers will be retained to maintain the company’s wire rod facility, according to media reports, so that operations may be able to recommence quickly, once warranted by economic improvement. Existing agreements will be carried out by Liberty’s steel mill in Peoria, Illinois.
Around 130 employees and contractors will be provisionally laid off or reassigned, while some support roles will be reviewed. At full capacity, the manufacturing facility employs about 270 hourly workers and 50 salaried employees.
Liberty’s Georgetown plant has rolling capacity of 750,000mt per year. The facility has two electric arc furnaces (EAFs); however, only one has been operational up until this point, running at a capacity of 500,000mt per annum.
The Georgetown steelworks had been shut down until summer of 2018 after sitting vacant since 2015 when the prior owner, ArcelorMittal, ceased operations.
Liberty acquired the facility in Dec 2017, then announced major capital funding of around $25mn on Oct 7 2019 to install a modern EAF at the Georgetown steel facility and improve the wire rod production by 400,000nt per year at its rolling mill.