Billionaire investor Sanjeev Gupta attended a $600million signing ceremony to unveil grand plans to renovate Whyalla’s rusting steel factory which he acquired from Arrium two years ago.
Liberty Primary Steel, a company in the Gupta Family Group Alliance, will install a new steel mill and rail connection from Danieli of Italy and a new pulverised coal injection plant from China’s CISDI Engineering. The investment will raise the South Australia site’s output by about 50% to 1.8 million tonnes per year. The current announcement also includes a $45 million hotel development, a $145 million horticulture development and a $6 million recycling facility. Further ambitious concepts over the next two decades could deliver a ‘Next-Gen’ mega steel plant at a global scale. Gupta said,
“We will embark on a journey for a new grand-scale steel plant which will be one of the largest in the world,” a plan that Gupta admitted might be labelled by some as a ‘crazy concept’.
The future “state-of-the-art” mega steel site would produce 10 million tonnes of steel per annum. Gupta previously indicated an interest to convert South Australia’s mothballed Holden automotive sites to electric vehicles, but Victoria has been mentioned as an alternative factory location in recent months. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said,
“South Australia now has the highest level of business confidence in eight years. This is the turnaround state in South Australia, and this is the comeback city of Australia when we’re talking about Whyalla.”
This story is featured in the 14 December 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.