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Industrialist reveals grand, global expansion plans for Whyalla

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British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta has unveiled an ambitious plan for a “grand scale steel plant” in Whyalla, capable of annual exports of 10 million tonnes.

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The billionaire today revealed details of what he said could become one of the world’s largest steel production facilities.

Chinese company China Metallurgical Group Corporation has signed on to build the new facility for Gupta’s company GFG Alliance if it gets final approval.

Gupta also outlined a $600 million expansion of Whyalla’s existing steel mill to lift production to 1.8 million tonnes each year.

On a day of what local authorities described as “transformational announcements”, the city council said other new projects would include a $45 million foreshore hotel, a $145 million horticulture facility and a $6 million organic recycling business.

It’s been suggested the expansion of steel production and the other developments will boost Whyalla’s population from about 20,000 to about 80,000.

Gupta was joined in Whyalla today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Premier Steven Marshall as he spoke of his vision to grow and secure thousands of jobs.

He said when he first came to the city with a view to taking over the troubled steelworks his briefing notes suggested a rescue was not possible.

“This was the poor cousin, a broken steel town,” he said.

“But those of you who know me that’s like red rag to a bull.”

Gupta said what he actually found was a “diamond” and a company with a workforce that was willing to fight.

Morrison described Whyalla as the comeback city of Australia with a bright future in investment and jobs.

“This is the turnaround state and this is the comeback city in Australia when we’re talking about Whyalla,” the PM said.

While Marshall said there was a growing confidence that Whyalla’s best days for manufacturing lay ahead.

“Whyalla will once against be a powerhouse of industrial activity,” he said.

– AAP

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