Adhunik was acquired by Liberty in February under the insolvency law in a Rs 425 crore cash deal. In a statement, Liberty said, the restart had been achieved in six months following intensive work to prepare the site for the return to steelmaking operations after the previous owner fell into administration.
GFG Alliance Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said, “It’s a proud moment for me today, as we have been able to deliver what we promised to all stakeholders - Adhunik is on its way to becoming fully operational.”
“It is five years since I started my industrial journey with the restart of operations at our first steelworks in Newport, UK. Here we have shown the same commitment to industrial communities by retaining and paying local workers as we start up operations and bring Adhunik and Zion steel works back to life,” he added.
The aim is to integrate Adhunik into the wider Liberty Steel Group family, Gupta further said.
Adhunik will transition into GREENSTEEL – a model combining steel recycling with low carbon and renewable power sources – to create a more sustainable competitive operation.
Uday Gupta, managing director of Adhunik said, “It has been a phenomenal journey to get to this stage, but it has not been without challenges, especially as we continue to manage the Covid-19 pandemic. The myriad of challenges in starting up the plant and machinery was overcome through the indomitable spirit of the Adhunik team working together.”
During the operational ramp up from early May, the business took on 1,500 local people in permanent and contractual roles for vital and extensive maintenance and repairs before the formal production restarted.
Liberty Steel provided salaries to employees once they were fully deployed on the site and 50 per cent salaries to those waiting to start work as part of the gradual restart.
“An agreement to this effect was signed between the management, multiple unions and the government authority, underlining GFG Alliance and Liberty Steel’s ongoing commitment to local workers, communities and stakeholders,” the company said.
Adhunik is an integrated steel plant located at Chadrihariharpur near Rourkela in Odisha. The plant has sponge iron facility, a blast furnace and electric arc furnace (EAF) steel making capability with 0.5mtpa capacity, a ferro - alloy plant and a 34MW captive power plant. The sites produce alloy steel products for the automotive, energy, engineering and oil & gas sectors apart from participating in the commodity market of sponge iron and billets.
Although, Adhunik marked Liberty’s journey in India, the group has plans of growing its operations in the country. Liberty had bid for assets under IBC like Bhushan Power & Steel, Amtek Auto and ABG Shipyard. However, finally, Adhunik materialised. The Adhunik deal also took time as an operational creditor challenged the resolution plan, which went all the way to the Supreme Court.