Tees Valley Net Zero News

British Steel’s Decarbonisation Plan: Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Installation

British Steel has received approval from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for the construction of another Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) at its Teesside site, a significant step in the company’s £1.25bn decarbonisation plan. Pending approval by North Lincolnshire Council, the manufacturer’s application to build an EAF at its Scunthorpe site is expected to follow suit. 

The proposed transformation, subject to appropriate support from the UK Government, is a pivotal part of British Steel’s journey towards a greener future. Xijun Cao, President and CEO of British Steel, expressed delight at the planning permission, stating, “The proposed installation of EAFs in Scunthorpe and Teesside is central to our journey to a green future, as they would help us reduce CO2 emissions by more than 75 per cent. However, it is crucial we now secure the backing of the UK Government.” 

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen emphasized the significance of the project, saying, “This is about our place in the world. It is about the pride in our communities. Generations of Teessiders built the world, and now that journey can start again. It is not a party-political issue. It’s common sense. We can come together – irrespective of political party – and deliver what is needed for our area. I’ll work tirelessly with local labour councils and whoever may be in Government to deliver what our area needs.” 

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, added, “During the industrial revolution, our blast furnaces built the world. Now with the latest in electric arc technology, we can lead the green industrial revolution too.” 

Cao further stressed British Steel’s commitment to decarbonisation, stating, “Our owner, Jingye, is committed to the unprecedented investment decarbonisation requires, and our desire to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, coupled with challenging market conditions, means it is imperative swift and decisive action is taken to ensure a sustainable future for British Steel.” 

“We started talks with the UK Government in 2022 about the timely support we require on our journey to net zero, including the need for the British government to adopt the correct policies and frameworks now to back our drive to become a clean, green, and successful company. We are committed to working with the UK Government and need to reach an agreement quickly so we can achieve our ambitious goals, secure thousands of jobs, and keep making the steel Britain needs for generations to come.” 

Significant preparation works, including environmental and technical studies, and equipment selection, are underway to ensure the company’s ambitious proposals can be delivered. Both proposed EAFs would replace the aging iron and steelmaking operations at British Steel’s Scunthorpe site, which are responsible for the vast majority of its CO2 emissions. The company proposes maintaining current operations until a transition to electric arc steelmaking. British Steel has started preliminary talks with trade unions about electrification and has promised to support employees affected by its decarbonisation plans. 

Source: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/24228687.electric-arc-furnace-key-part-1-25bn-jingye-decarbonisation-plan/