Entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta – head of the GFG Alliance which has already invested over £500 million in Scotland’s metals and green energy sectors – yesterday celebrated two years of doing business in and from Scotland by presenting Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with a commemorative medal cast from aluminium made at his Fort William smelter.
Speaking at Holyrood, he confirmed that GFG is now investigating plans to boost this investment to £1 billion and predicted that Scotland would become ‘an international champion for a new era of green industry’ and a standard bearer for GFG’s own Green-steel and Green-aluminium operations.
The GFG executive chairman said the group, which has already rescued Scotland’s last steel mill in Lanarkshire and secured the future of Britain’s last aluminium smelter at Fort William, would continue ‘investing vigorously’ in both Scottish renewable energy and the country’s industrial capacity.
GFG recently acquired Green Highland Renewables, owner of 15 Scottish hydropower installations, and took a 49.9% stake in Atlantis Resources, the UK’s leading tidal energy developer and operator.
Gupta said: “We see Scotland’s potential to become the champion for our own Green-steel and Green-aluminium strategies as well as a global standard bearer for a new era of low-carbon industrial production, creating thousands of jobs.
“So far, we have committed over £500 million to pursue this ambition and, under our current and medium-term plans, we would expect to see that figure rise to over £1 billion.”
He warmly applauded the role of the Scottish Government in supporting and enabling GFG to revive industrial assets and bring forward new investments such as the alloy auto-wheels factory at Fort Williams, which is set to go ahead this spring after winning planning permission last month.
Gupta added: “In our experience around the world we have yet to encounter any government as actively supportive and positive as the Scot-Govt. We find this enormously helpful and it has certainly encouraged us to continue investing heavily in Scottish industry and creating skilled jobs.”
15 Mar 2018