Liberty deal puts Liebherr at heart of Rotherham steel plant

ONE of the UK’s largest producers of speciality steels, Liberty House Group, is gearing up with a pair of electric arc furnaces at its Rotherham plant to produce half a million tonnes of high quality end product.

To cope with this increase in output and support the company’s bid to produce green steel in the UK, the Rotherham plant will need to process over 500,000 tonnes of incoming recyclable material.

This operation requires a non-standard material handler and Liebherr was invited to take part in the procurement process, which resulted in Liberty House Group’s purchase of a new Liebherr LH 120 gantry- mounted material handler.

Formed in 1992 by Sanjeev Gupta when he was still at Cambridge University, Liberty House Group focused on trading in Africa and Asia before concentrating on the steel and metals industry.

As a result of acquisitions, Liberty House Group became one of the largest producers of speciality steels in the country with plants in England, Scotland and Wales.

Among the acquisitions was Speciality Steels, which is predominantly based in South Yorkshire.

The business supplies speciality steels worldwide and prides itself on delivering exceptionally high quality material suitable for use in the aerospace, engineering and automotive industries.

Its Rotherham site is among the largest and has a pair of electric arc furnaces that are being geared up to produce half a million tonnes of high quality end product in various grades over the next few years.

To cope with this increase in output and to support Liberty House Group’s bid to produce green steel in the UK, the plant

LIBERTY House Group’s new Liebherr LH 120 gantry-mounted material handler

will need to process over 500,000 tonnes of incoming recyclable material that is fed into the plant in specifi c mixes depending on the type of material being produced.

The raw ingredients for each batch are loaded into a scrap basket before being tipped into the furnace.

100 tonnes of raw materials

Each scrap bin weighs over 50 tonnes when empty. It is loaded with over 100 tonnes of raw material, measuring over four metres in height and needs to be carried around on specially designed heavy-duty transporters.

The company required a new material handler for this operation but this is not a ‘standard’ material handling task.

Central requirements for the large

material handler were its ability to reach the various grades of material along the loading area, and the need for the operator to see inside the scrap bins (as careful layering of the material is required to provide a good material mix) - as well as longevity and low operating costs.

The LH 120 has been specifi ed with a gantry-type undercarriage that lifts the body of the crane over seven metres from the ground. Support from a pair of 8.5 metre long crawler frames riding on 750 mm wide pads gives the material handler an extremely stable stance.

The material handler was purchased with a comprehensive service arrangement from the manufacturer.

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