Jingye completes British Steel purchase

Chinese steelmaker Jingye Group has completed its acquisition of the majority of British Steel’s assets, the official receiver, Ernst & Young, confirmed today.

The sale includes the steelworks at Scunthorpe, UK mills in Teesside and Skinningrove, shares of FN Steel BV and the TSP Engineering business based in Cumbria. The future of the French steelworks at Hayange is still pending the permission of the French authorities, but discussions with Jingye are ongoing.

“Jingye has shown a great desire to effect ambitious plans that will invest in British Steel and help the business to once again be competitive on the world map,” an Ernst & Young spokesperson said. But about 400 employees have not yet received offers from Jingye, he said.

British Steel, which has aproduction capacity of 4.5mn t/yr, at present operates four basic oxygen furnaces running on iron ore and coking coal. There have been discussions with Jingye Group about the possibility of converting the furnaces to electric arc furnaces, which use scrap as a feedstock.

By Sara Warden