British Steel

The application for another electric arc furnace in Scantop will be considered in the near future

British Steel, a steel company owned by China’s Jingye Group, has received permission to build an electric arc furnace (EAF) at its Teesside plant, a key step in its decarbonization plan. The company said in a statement.

The application was approved by Redcar and Cleveland City Council after detailed consultations.

«We’re delighted to have received planning permission to build an Electric Arc Furnace at our Teesside site, and thank everyone who has supported our proposals to bring steelmaking back to the region,» said British Steel President and CEO Xijun Cao.

The application for the construction of another EAF at the Scunthorpe facility will be considered by North Lincolnshire Council in the near future.

«The proposed installation of EAFs in Scunthorpe and Teesside is central to our journey to a green future as they would help us reduce emissions of CO2 by more than 75 per cent. However, it is crucial we now secure the backing of the UK Government,» explained Xijun Cao.

According to him, British Steel’s owner, Jingye Group, is ready for the unprecedented investment required by decarbonization, and the company’s desire to drastically reduce its carbon footprint, combined with challenging market conditions, means that quick and decisive action is needed.

In 2022, the company began negotiations with the UK government on the support needed to get to net zero, including the need to adopt appropriate policies and frameworks. British Steel is committed to working with government officials to reach an agreement as soon as possible.

Preparatory work is underway, including environmental and technical studies and equipment selection, to ensure that the company’s proposals can be implemented as quickly as possible while negotiations with the government continue.

EAF is to replace the outdated blast furnace facility in Scunthorpe, which accounts for the vast majority of CO2 emissions. The company proposes to maintain current operations until the transition to EAF. British Steel has begun preliminary negotiations with trade unions and has promised to support employees affected by its decarbonization plans.

British Steel announced a £1.25 billion decarbonization plan in November last year. It involves the replacement of blast furnaces with two electric arc furnaces to be built at the company’s Scunthorpe and Teesside sites. The new furnaces could be commissioned by the end of 2025.