Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque: already €100M in planned investments
Gupta Family Group acquires Aluminium Dunkerque for $500M
Just one year ago, Liberty House offered $500 million to Rio Tinto for the acquisition of the Aluminium Dunkerque factory in Hauts-de-France. In December 2018, the acquisition of the Dunkirk company was officially announced. The largest primary aluminum smelter in France and Europe is now called Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque. With the ink barely dry on the acquisition agreement, Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of the GFG Group, announced €100 million in investments on the site.
Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque: a plan to invest €100M over 3 years to become a center of excellence
“The acquisition of this factory […] is part of a downstream investment plan […] and seeks to support Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque […] in the deployment and integration of its manufacturing operations, serving the French and European markets.” says Sanjeev Gupta. When the site was inaugurated in January, the British group announced a multi-phase investment plan totaling €100 million. Of this amount, €55 million will be invested this year to modernize the Dunkirk factory, including the replacement of reduction cells (€20M) and the purchase of an eighth smelting furnace (€20M). In addition to these equipment purchases, some functions have already been internalized, which has resulted in the hiring of some 30 employees. Thanks to these investments, the Hauts-de-France smelter is poised to become the GFG Group’s center of excellence for aluminum production. It is ultimately expected to supply mainly to European industry. Its future customers include the Liberty Wheels France factory in Indre, recently acquired by the group and France’s sole producer of aluminum rims. “Our aim is to make this site and the highly skilled women and men who work there, the cornerstone of our integrated industrial business in France.” says Sanjeev Gupta.
The choice of France
“We have great confidence that this is the right time to invest in France and Europe,” says Sanjeev Gupta. In various interviews, Sanjeev Gupta has shared the impetus that led him to invest in France and in Hauts-de-France:
- Generations of know-how “The country [France] has a world-class industrial heritage”
- A skilled workforce “Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque and Liberty Wheels France provide excellent facilities, expertise and skilled workforces that enable us to grow strongly through long-term investments.”
- Possible synergies between French companies “What we now have is a further French car manufacturer being supplied with wheels ‘made in France’ made out of aluminium from our smelter also ‘made in France’. This is the best reminder, if we ever needed one, of why we chose to invest in France”
- Strong European demand “Demand in Europe is strong, and raw material is abundant, particularly due to lots of waste that can be recycled.”
Hauts-de-France: an environment conducive to industrial development
In addition to the points previously mentioned by the CEO of Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque, the Hauts-de-France Region—and more specifically the Dunkirk area—is the ideal location for industrial companies, thanks to:
- A port connected to the world and to Europe
- The availability of numerous resources and companies, making the region a stronghold for the metalworking and mechanical industry
- Cost-competitive carbon-free energy.
Want to learn more about the materials sector in Hauts-de-France? Visit our dedicated page. Do you already have a project that our region’s assets can help you accomplish? Contact us!