The Georgetown steel mill is officially open and operating, after being shuttered for almost three years. 

People celebrated the grand opening of Liberty Steel Georgetown on Monday. The steel mill officially closed in 2015, leaving more than 200 people jobless. Liberty House, which is based in London, brought the property in April of 2017.

On Monday, GFG Alliance, which owns Liberty House and renamed the site Liberty Steel Georgetown, celebrated the plants grand opening with employees, local government officials, and community members. 

“It’s a big day for me, seeing everything come back together. I had my doubts to begin with but I’m glad to see it finished,” said project engineer Gene Elliott.

Elliott worked at the steel mill for 45 years, and has spent the last three years taking care of the equipment as the plant sat vacant. 

“It’s a big awakening. It’s a big opportunity to be able to have jobs they can provide for their families. It’s an opportunity otherwise they may not have, thanks to Liberty Steel,” said Elliott. 

Melvin Logan is one of about 125 steelworkers now working at Liberty Steel Georgetown. The Georgetown native says the revival of the steel mill will revive the city’s economy, as well as that of the surrounding area. 

“This is a vital part of the community. Without this, a lot of jobs lost, a lot of people can’t have what they have now. With this back now, a lot of smiling faces,” he said.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance, said he expects the steel mill to employ about 320 people once it is running at full capacity, sometime next year. Of the 125 current employees, about 40 previously worked at the steel mill three years ago. Gupta said their experience was critical to the plant’s re-opening.

“They’re helping bring up all the rest.Having the right skill set and their experience, that will enable this plant to start much better, much faster,” he said.

Despite the plant’s rocky history, Gupta assured all employees and the local community, Liberty Steel Georgetown is here to stay. 

“I’ve never shut down a steel plant in my life. I’ve never shut down a business in my life. We will keep this business running. At the moment things are looking good, but even if there is a tough time, we’ll get through it.”

“I think we’re here for the long haul now. And I think Liberty is going to be running this mill for a long time,” said Elliott.