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HomeRenewablesblast furnacesBritish Steel plans to replace furnaces, risking 2,000 jobs

British Steel plans to replace furnaces, risking 2,000 jobs

British Steel has proposed a £1.25 billion transformation plan to adopt electric arc furnace steelmaking, aiming for decarbonisation.

This initiative, which includes the installation of two electric arc furnaces in Scunthorpe and Teesside, raises concerns about potential job cuts, affecting up to 2,000 employees.

British Steel Chief Executive Officer and President, Xijun Cao, said: “Our desire to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, coupled with current market conditions, means we can’t wait and need to transform our business as quickly as possible.

“And while decarbonisation will not happen overnight, it’s imperative we take swift and decisive action to ensure a sustainable future for British Steel.

“We studied having one large electric arc furnace (EAF) based in Scunthorpe, one which was capable of manufacturing all of the steel we require for our rolling mills in the Humber and the North East.

“However, such a large furnace would require a new National Grid connection and it is anticipated this would not be available until 2034. We therefore believe the most viable and timely option is to have 2 smaller furnaces which combine to produce the volumes of steel we require.”

In response to the news, Community Union General Secretary Roy Rickhuss said: “We are deeply concerned by British Steel’s plans for an EAF-only approach at Scunthorpe and Teesside, and it is vital a meaningful consultation takes place to assess all the options to secure the future of steelmaking.

“Were they to be realised the plans that British Steel has announced, combined with Tata Steel’s plans, would leave the UK unable to make steel from raw materials and dangerously exposed to international markets.

“Community firmly believes that the blast furnaces continue to be vital in any responsible transition to green steelmaking.

“Even the government’s own backbenchers recognise that an EAF-only approach is dangerous and foolhardy, with the Conservative Northern Research Group only this weekend urging the Prime Minister to intervene to keep the blast furnaces open.”

Energy Live News
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This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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