GFG ALLIANCE, the UK-based metals, mining and energy group owned by Sanjeev Gupta, has bought Europe's largest aluminium smelter in Dunkerque, France, from Rio Tinto for US$500m.
The Liberty House proposal includes plans to modernise the site, according to Rio.
The company expects to complete the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque in the second quarter of 2018.
The company estimates that in Europe alone demand for aluminium for vehicles will rise to 4.3 million tonnes from 3.3 million tonnes a year by 2024, given the increasing focus on light-weight materials, and vehicles with a lower carbon footprint. "Aluminium Dunkerque has a high-quality aluminium operation benefitting from a top-class workforce and management", said Gupta following the announcement.
He added that GFG wants to develop the Dunkerque smelter into an worldwide centre of aluminium expertise, using its GREENALUMINIUM strategy, which is based on its GREENSTEEL strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of production, make processes more sustainable, use more innovative technologies, and be more flexible to customer demand. "This will be our key strength when embarking on our ambitious plans", he said in a statement.
The Dunkerque acquisition will further build Liberty House's aluminium base in Europe, following its acquisition in December 2016 of Rio Tinto's aluminium smelter in Lochaber, Scotland, in which it is now investing 120 million pounds.
The GFG Alliance is being advised by a group of firms led by Lazard.