The management of Liberty Steel in Liège announced on Friday that it had received from Liberty Steel Group the funding necessary for the completion of the first stage of the transformation plan for the Liège infrastructures, established in Flémalle and Tilleur. “This financing, combined with the outcome of a number of trade negotiations, makes it possible to consider restarting the factories by mid-February, in accordance with Liberty’s commitment to the authorities.“, specified the management of Liberty Steel in Liege in a press release.
This is an astonishing announcement knowing that last December, during an extraordinary works council, union representatives learned that the Romanian subsidiary of the group would no longer lend the 10 million euros promised to refinance and settle the debts of the Liège company. The unions feared that more than 600 jobs would be lost.
A new business model
This transformation plan should be well advanced by next spring. He foresees that the packaging line in Tilleur will develop a new business model in order to establish partnerships with important customers to manufacture specialized packaging for their products. As for the G5 galvanizing line at Flémalle, it must be used to generate short-term profits.
Liberty Liège management adds that it is continuing discussions with Sogepa, the investment fund of the Walloon Region, for the future development of the company.
“This new plan will help us set up a sustainable economic model for Liberty Liège. Now that we have the seed funding in place, which demonstrates Liberty’s commitment to the business, we are able to restructure and scale the business as soon as possible. We continue to encourage the regional government to support the realization of this plan. With the continuous increase in energy prices in Europe, with their impact on cheap imports, we also need the continued engagement of the unions to support the transformation of Liberty Liège, which will make the company more productive, more competitive and better able to face the global market“said Toker Ozcan, CEO of Liberty Steel Greensteel Emea, which includes Liberty Liège.