British Steel is to invest £100million this year to support the next stage of its transformation. The company returned to profit after being brought out of liquidation by the Chinese Jingye Group last year and will focus investment on improving its manufacturing operations and supporting clean growth.
The money will help finance a new billet caster, a scrap pre-heating facility, cranes and a new environmental emission control system.
Jingye Group CEO Li Huiming, CEO of Jingle Group, commented: “We’re committed to building a long-term future for British Steel and thanks to the hard work and diligence of our new colleagues, the business is now on a more sustainable footing.
“Their skill and dedication has enabled British Steel to maintain safe iron and steel production throughout the pandemic, ensuring customers’ requirements were – and continue to be – fulfilled. I’m extremely grateful for their efforts, and for the way they’ve embraced and driven change during a challenging period for everyone, both personally and professionally.
“British Steel’s people and products are the reason Jingye is investing with such confidence.”
During its first year as part of the Jingle Group, British Steel achieved 'significant operational improvements'. The company launched new products, introduced 24-7 operations at its Teesside and Skinningrove mills and resumed operational control of Immingham Bulk Terminal.
“Moving into profitability was a significant milestone for the new business, but we’re only at the start of our journey and still have many challenges to overcome, such as the exceptionally high raw material prices," said Li Huiming.
“British Steel is increasing production, reducing costs and growing into new markets," he said, adding that the business now has a stronger platform upon which to build. "We’re optimistic for the future and I’d like to thank customers, suppliers and stakeholders for their continued support,” he said.
British Steel's CEO, Ron Deelen, will step-down from his role at the end of March this year, although he will continue to work closely with the business and Jingye.
“Ron has been an important and valued member of our team during the last year and we’re extremely grateful for his leadership throughout the sales process and beyond. I look forward to us continuing to work together on the ambitious plans for British Steel,” said Li Huiming.
Ron Deelen is looking forward to pursuing a new challenge now that British Steel is back in profit and starting to build a sustainable future. “Jingye have proven themselves to be caring and responsible owners and I look forward to supporting them, and British Steel, on the next step of their journey together.”
British Steel President Xijun Cao, who will also assume the CEO role at the beginning of April, said he was honoured to be leading the next stage of British Steel’s transformation and looks forward to helping his colleagues build on their achievements of the last 12 months.