THE boss of a North Lanarkshire specialist steel-cutting facility established in the wake of the closure of a major Corus plant said he hoped to bring more jobs to the area after it was acquired by Edgen Group.

Mark Allard established the production facility in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, in 2009 as managing director in Scotland for independent sheet and plate steel firm Eterniti Steels.

The operation was located across the road from Corus's service centre and mill where 78 jobs were lost when it closed three years ago.

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Initially Allard employed six people but it has grown to a staff of 25, with many former Corus workers.

It has now been acquired for an unspecified amount by US giant Edgen Murray, the division of Louisiana-based Edgen Group that specialises in providing steel to the energy industries.

Bellshill has become the base for its new Edgen Murray General Steels & Profiling division.

Mr Allard, appointed as director of the division, said: "The plans are big. They have obviously not bought us to stand still."

The Bellshill facility specialised in profiling, providing steel plate cut into different shapes and sizes using flame or plasma technology.

The focus of the business has been on the offshore industry, although Mr Allard said: "We supply anything to anyone". The big change is that now the facility will offer the more general products that Edgen focuses on.

Mr Allard said: "What we offer now is a one-stop shop. Edgen Murray bring something new to us and we bring something new to them.

"Going forward we are going to be looking to employ more people and bring more people to the firm."

It has already taken over an expanded warehouse.

David Kemp, Edgen Murray's vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "We find that our customers increasingly look for a single source for the procurement, supply and finish of highly engineered and customised speciality steel products, particularly for demanding offshore structural applications. This is a response to the needs of customers."

The deal did not include Eterniti's non-profiling business in Yorkshire.