British Steel will invest £26 million ($35.7m) into a new service centre at Skinningrove to process an extended range of value-added profiles for the forklift industry, the firm tells Kallanish.
The is the single largest investment for more than 30 years in its Special Profiles business and forms part of a £100m investment this year to improve the steelmaker’s manufacturing and environmental performance, it adds.
The new service centre will include cut-to-length lines, product milling, machining and warehousing operations. The advanced milling and machining capability will also mean the company can offer profiles with world-leading tolerances of just 0.1mm, British Steel says.
British Steel’s profiles are supplied globally to make components for a wide range of market sectors, such as the forklift and earthmoving industries. “Our investment means we’ll have world-class products manufactured to the tightest of tolerances,” says British Steel commercial director for special profiles David Waine. “It will enable us to explore new growth opportunities for our forklift mast products in Europe, North and South America, India and Asia. And although our primary product offering will be for forklift mast production, we expect to be able to expand this to include other product applications too.”
The steelmaker is seeing strong demand for its products, particularly those used in the mining and construction sectors as well as the demanding application of high-reach trucks.
“With the market growth and demands we’re anticipating, our investment is coming at just the right time,” Waine adds. “It will deliver new key capabilities that use technology nearly two decades more advanced than anything available anywhere in the world.”
Work on the new facilities will begin by year-end, with commissioning expected to start in August 2023.
The new Skinningrove facility will replace the services currently offered at the company’s site in Darlington, which stores and cuts profiles to customer requirements. This location change and processing capability expansion brings logistical, cost and environmental benefits, the firm concludes.
Adam Smith Germany