British Steel is to invest £50 million upgrading its wire rod manufacturing operations. The investment ‘will significantly improve the quality and range of wire rod produced at the company’s Scunthorpe headquarters’, according to the UK-based steelmaker, enabling it to grow in current markets and enter new ones.

According to British Steel, the new facility will allow the business to produce a wider range of sizes (up to 28mm) with tighter tolerances. It will also enable the company to make improvements in surface condition and micro-structural properties.

British Steel has already committed £120 million to capital projects during its first three years of business and this latest announcement comes eight months after the purchase of FNsteel, a premium wire rod manufacturer based in the Netherlands.

Paul Martin, British Steel’s deputy CEO, commented: “This is a major investment in the future of our business, underpinning our commitment to providing customers with higher technical specifications of steel and a diverse, premium product range.”

Martin said that the latest investment will increase the company’s ability to serve the domestic market and allow it to become a more competitive exporter.

The contractor behind the upgrading project will be Primetals Technologies and work is scheduled to start this summer and commissioned in the autumn of 2019.

According to British Steel, new labs have just opened, ensuring the mill has ‘world class testing facilities’.The existing wire rod business, which employs 300 people, will operate as normal throughout the installation.