ENTREPRENEUR Sanjeev Gupta – whose GFG Alliance has already invested more than £500 million in Scotland’s metals and green energy sectors – is investigating plans to double its investment in the country’s economy.

And Gupta predicted Scotland will become an international champion for a new era of green industry, as well as a standard bearer for his company’s own GREENSTEEL and GREENALUMINIUM strategies.

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He was speaking after meeting Nicola Sturgeon to discuss GFG’s progress, including deals to acquire Green Highland Renewables, which owns 15 Scottish hydropower installations, and a 49.9 per cent stake in Atlantis Resources, the UK’s leading tidal stream developer and operator.

Gupta said the group, which has already rescued Scotland’s last steel mill, Dalzell, in Lanarkshire, and secured the future of Britain’s last aluminium smelter at Fort William, will continue “investing vigorously” in Scottish renewable energy and the country’s industrial capacity.

GFG’s executive chairman presented the First Minister with a special commemorative medal cast from Lochaber aluminium to mark two years since his company began investing in Scottish industry.

Gupta said: “We see Scotland’s potential to become the champion for our own GREENSTEEL and GREENALUMINIUM strategies as well as a global standard bearer for a new era of low-carbon industrial production, creating thousands of jobs.

“So far, we have committed more than £500m to pursue this ambition and, under our current and medium-term plans, we would expect to see that figure rise to over £1 billion.”

Gupta also praised the role of the Scottish Government in supporting and enabling GFG to revive threatened industrial assets and bring forward new investments, such as the alloy wheels factory at Fort William – which is expected to go ahead in the coming months following the granting of full planning permission in February.

“In our experience around the world we have yet to encounter any government as actively supportive and positive as the Scottish Government,” Gupta said. “We find this enormously helpful and it has certainly encouraged us to continue investing heavily in Scottish industry and creating skilled jobs.”

Sturgeon said: “I welcome the significant commitment made by the GFG Alliance to invest in industry in Scotland.

“Sanjeev Gupta has recognised that Scotland is a good place to do business, particularly in relation to the talent and skills base we have here, including in engineering and advanced renewable technologies.

“We are working with GFG to sustain and develop the employment of hundreds of skilled workers at Dalzell and Lochaber.

“They helped us save the Scottish steel industry and it is important that we now build on that. I welcome GFG’s future plans for Scotland and we will work with them to support our shared ambitions for low-carbon industrial growth.”