First step made in sale of Georgetown steel mill

The first step has been taken to sell the old Georgetown steel mill, according to a news release. (WPDE file photo)

The first step has been taken to sell the old Georgetown steel mill, according to a news release.

Liberty House, a global industry and metals group, reached an "agreement in principle" with ArcelorMittal to purchase Georgetown Steelworks, which includes the 600,000-ton a year electric arc furnace and 750,000-ton a year rod mill.

The proposed deal, which follows several months of discussion, is subject to agreement on final terms between the two parties and completion of due diligence by Liberty over the coming weeks, according to the news release.

The battle over what to do with the old steel mill site in Georgetown has been dividing the community for years.

The mill has been there since the 1960's and it's closed a few times, and then reopened, only to close again in 2015.

In March, community members spoke out about the mill at a Georgetown County meeting.

If the deal with Liberty House is completed as planned, the acquisition will give Liberty the opportunity to reopen and revitalize this pivotal business, which was an important part of the state’s industrial infrastructure for 47 years before its closure in August 2015. It would also mark the first significant step in Liberty’s plan to make major investments in the U.S. steel industry, the release said.

Last year, a team from the the Urban Land Institute spent a week working to come up with a recommendation for the site.

Their suggestion is to build an arts and culture center where the steel mill stands, and to make the water the focal point of the center.

The 600,000 sq ft Georgetown plant, sits on a 60-acre site next to a deep-water port along the Sampit River. When operating at full capacity the steelworks employed more than 320 workers directly and supported hundreds more jobs in the local economy. The plant has traditionally served the construction, automotive and industrial markets, according to a news release.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off