Steel trade association UK Steel has welcomed British Steel plans announced today for a £1.25bn investment to adopt electric arc furnace steelmaking.
The proposals, which await suitable support from the UK Government, mean that British Steel could install two electric arc furnaces (EAFs), one at British Steel headquarters in Scunthorpe, and the second at the manufacturing site in Teesside.
British Steel said that it plans to continue current operations until a transition to electric arc steelmaking is complete.
This announcement follows UK Steel’s ‘Net Zero Steel – A Vision for the Future of UK Steel Production’ report, published last year, which set out the sector’s roadmap to meet Net Zero targets.
Net Zero Steel detailed how the sector could rapidly reduce emissions, attract new investment into the UK, and ensure green steel production in the UK, essential for new rail, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and energy-efficient housing.
UK Steel director general Gareth Stace said: “With British Steel’s announcement, it is clear the UK steel sector is completely committed to rapid decarbonisation. Just one year after publishing the sector’s Net Zero roadmap, the UK’s major steel producers are taking crucial steps to decarbonise by 2035.
“UK steelmaking needs to compete on the world market and regain market share at home and abroad.
“This is a turning point for UK steelmaking. During this transition, we must all work together in partnership with industry, Government and trade unions to ensure the future of our sector. As we switch to electric steelmaking and cut our emissions, planning regulation snags and high electricity prices must not hold back investment in new EAF capacity.
“It will not be a straightforward transition, but for the whole steel sector, from existing electric furnaces to companies making huge investments now, our goal is clear.”