International energy, metals, and industrials group GFG Alliance has revealed that member companies SIMEC and Liberty House have agreed to purchase a hydro-power and aluminium smelting operation at Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands from Rio Tinto Aluminium for £330m.
The installation would secure jobs of more than 150 workers at the site and in the local and regional supply chain.
Liberty House Group's executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “This transaction fits very well with our vision to develop a sustainable and competitive metals industry in the UK as a key part of our global industrial business.
“This is a natural next step for us in our Scottish investment programme and is a springboard for wider manufacturing growth, creating many more jobs in Scotland. We are immensely grateful for the continuing support of the Scottish Government and for their far-sighted approach to industry.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in the next four weeks. It includes hydro plants at Lochaber and neighbouring Kinlochleven, a Lochaber aluminium smelter, and a one hundred thousand-acre estate to host the water catchment area.
As per the terms of the deal, SIMEC will own and operate the hydro plants as part of its growing portfolio of renewable power assets in the UK.
SIMEC's energy and mining divisions chief executive Jay Hambro said: “This is a significant boost to our renewables portfolio and will be another major step towards reducing our carbon footprint in metals production.
“We are looking forward to working with Rio Tinto over the coming weeks to complete this strategically important transaction. This is a very exciting acquisition opportunity for us and we have big ambitions for this site and for the development of green energy across the UK.”
Liberty House Group will own and develop the aluminium business by integrating the smelters with the group’s downstream engineering and manufacturing activity in Scotland and beyond.