The Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance told local media this week that its plans to construct a new plant in the Scottish Highlands dedicated to the production of aluminium alloy wheels is progressing smoothly.
Plans announced shortly after GFG acquired the Fort William plant proposed that it produce up to two million aluminium alloy wheels per year, replacing fully one quarter of the eight million aluminium wheels imported by the British automotive industry each year.
Yesterday’s announcement revealed that the project, which obtained planning consent earlier this year, is expected to commence work in the very near future.
“We are undertaking site clearance work and steadily working our way through conditions attached to our planning approval, which was granted in January,” explained a company spokesman to local media.
“We’re having some very encouraging conversations with vehicle manufacturers regarding market demand for the wheels we aim to make … and we’re very excited by their positive response to our plans.”
“Detailed design work for the new plant is continuing and we’re benefiting greatly from the expertise of senior personnel at the alloy wheels plant we acquired recently at Chateauroux in France, who are working very closely with the UK team.”
GFG’s sister corporation SIMEC Group will power the operation using hydropower and bio-diesel to fuel the ramped-up production levels. The emphasis on sustainable fuels is part of the company’s “Greenmetal” strategy.
GFG subsidiary Liberty House acquired the plant in November when it closed a deal in conjunction with sister corporation SIMEC Group to purchase the former Alcan smelter from Rio Tinto for £330 million.