Scotland is “leading the fightback” for a share of the import-dominated UK steel market, Liberty has said.

The country’s last steel mills were saved from closure by the GFG Alliance and it now aims to produce more than 120,000 tonnes of plate steel this year for large-scale infrastructure projects.

Management said the British market for plate steel has been “overwhelmed” in recent years by imports from Europe and South Korea for projects such as shipbuilding, undersea pipes and wind turbines.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay visited Liberty Steel Dalzell in Motherwell on Wednesday for a tour of the reopened plant.

Managing director Gordon MacRae said: “With the skill and determination of the workforce at Dalzell, we’ve begun to make real inroads into this market. We’re already reclaiming lost market share and we have big ambitions for future growth, not only at home but in key export markets also.

“Making a comeback after closure was always going to be a big challenge but we are now seeing real progress.

“We’re expanding our product range and customer base and we firmly believe that Scotland is now leading the fightback for a share of the UK market for this toughest of steels.”

Mr MacKay said: “The Scottish Government are committed to ensuring our steel sector has a sustainable future, building on the long and proud heritage of steelwork in Scotland.

“We are committed to doing as much as we can to increase the industry’s ability to compete in global markets, which will help bring new opportunities to Scotland’s economy.”