Saudi Arabia’s AIC Steel Group has taken over the former Rowecord plant in South Wales to launch an assault on the UK market.
The Arabian International Company for Steel Structures, the give the company its full name, is planning to invest £10m at the site in Newport and create an initial 120 jobs. The new owner will use the 35,000 square metre site as its UK manufacturing hub and is opening a sales office in London.
AIC Steel Group has worked on some of the flashiest buildings in the world, including the Kingdom Tower and Al Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh and Medina Airport in Saudi Arabia.
AIC Steel UK is headed by CEO Michael Treacy, who was previously CEO of Graham Wood Structural, which went into administration last month. Graham Woods was the latest in a string of failures in the UK structural steelwork sector. Rowecord itself, which built the roof of the London Olympics Aquatic Centre, collapsed in April 2013.
Mr Treacy said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this investment and a long-term commitment to Newport, which is helped by the fact that we aren’t answerable to shareholders and are backed by a major global parent company. We have a clear strategy for building a thriving business here in the UK.”
He added: “We chose Newport as our manufacturing hub as it has a culture that supports heavy industry and a skilled local workforce.”
Speaking for the Welsh regional government, economy minister Edwina Hart said: “This is great news for Newport and a vote of confidence for the Welsh steel industry. It is particularly pleasing to hear the company has already recruited former Rowecord workers for some of the 120 new jobs to be created at the plant.”