British Steel secures planning permission to install EAF at Teesside plant

The UK’s second-largest steel producer, British Steel, has secured planning permission to install an electric arc furnace at its Teesside plant, it said in a statement released April 3.

The company said its application had been approved by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council following a detailed consultation period.

British Steel is also awaiting a decision from North Lincolnshire Council regarding its application to build another EAF at its Scunthorpe site.

EAF technology utilizes an electric current to melt scrap steel or iron and produce steel, whereas traditional blast furnaces rely on coke, a carbon-intensive fuel made from coal, to produce steel.

Under the existing proposals, British Steel’s Teesside operations will consist of one 100-mt EAF, one 100-mt ladle furnace, one 100-mt vacuum degasser and two continuous casters, supplying the company’s Teesside Beam Mill and Skinningrove works.

At Scunthorpe, the company is proposing an operation consisting of one 130-mt EAF; two 130-mt ladle furnaces, one 130-mt degasser and two continuous casters.

The company advised that its proposed shift to EAF steelmaking at Teesside and Scunthorpe remains subject to appropriate support from the UK government.

British Steel said it was moving ahead with preparations at both sites, including the undertaking of environmental and technical studies to ensure that its proposals can be delivered at the earliest opportunity while discussions with the UK government progress.

The proposed installation of EAFs in place of the existing blast furnaces at Scunthorpe and Teesside are part of a GBP1.25-billion ($1.57-billion) decarbonization plan unveiled Nov. 6 2023.

Under the schedule put forward by British Steel, the new furnaces could be operational by late 2025 with the company seeking to maintain current operations until a smooth transition to EAF steelmaking can be implemented.

“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,” said British Steel president and CEO Xijun Cao.

British Steel first unveiled its Low-Carbon Roadmap in October 2021 pledging to invest in a range of technologies to deliver net-zero steel by 2050, and significantly reduce its CO2 intensity by 2030 and 2035.

Euan Sadden