PRINCE Charles will visit Dalton today to reignite a furnace that has stood still for more than two years.
The Prince of Wales’ visit is set to mark a major milestone in the revival of Britain’s steel industry when he reignites the iconic N-Furnace at Liberty Speciality Steels this afternoon.
He will also visit Dearne Community Fire Station in Manvers Way to find out how the fire service is working with The Prince's Trust to deliver programmes to young people.
The restart of the electric arc furnace, which was mothballed by previous owners Tata in 2015 at the height of the steel crisis, is part of a multi-million-pound investment by the Liberty House Group that is creating 300 new jobs across its Rotherham and Stocksbridge plant.
The 800,000-tonne-a-year furnace, which turns scrap metal into specialised steels for uses such as vehicle gearboxes or aircraft landing gear, will now play a pivotal role in Liberty’s Greensteel strategy, which is designed to create a cleaner era for the industry in the UK.
His Royal Highness will meet executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta, staff and industrial cadets from Bradfield School and Rotherham College whom the company supports to develop their knowledge and experience of industry.
The switch-on of N-Furnace, the larger of the site’s two electric arc furnaces, marks the culmination of five months engineering work by a team of 35 people to repair and upgrade the equipment.
It will triple Liberty’s capacity to melt scrap into liquid steel at Rotherham, making the company the largest steel recycler in the UK, with a capability to melt over 1.2m tonnes a year.
Restarting N-Furnace will enable the plant to double production on its adjacent bar mill to over 400,000 tonnes a year.
After reigniting the furnace, the Prince will move on to the adjacent Aldwarke General Office at the plant, which has just been renovated and re-opened as the new HQ for Liberty Steel UK, after being empty for years.