The Key Details About Steelmaking Returning to Teesside

Teesworks | Published on: 6th November 2023

What is happening?

British Steel has announced that Teesside will be the location for one of two of its new electric arc furnaces. It will be a multi-million pound investment bringing hundreds of jobs and see a return of steelmaking to Teesside.

Where will it be?

The electric arc furnace will be located at Teesworks, Europe’s biggest brownfield regeneration project which includes former site of Redcar steelworks.

Since the closure of the steelworks in 2015 a plan to redevelop Teesworks as a location for new green industries has been progressed. The furnace will be located on at Lackenby, next to British Steel’s existing Teesside Beam Mill.

Teesworks is also part of the Teesside Freeport, which provides investment incentives for businesses.

Who is doing it?

British Steel is the company behind the plans. The company is owned by Chinese steelmaker Jingye. It already operates Teesside Beam Mill at Lackenby and Special Profiles Mill in Skinningrove, which process manufactured steel for industrial uses such as rail and construction.

What is an electric arc furnace?

Electric arc furnaces use green technology to melt scrap and produce new steel. The furnace generates heat from an electric arc between electrodes, as opposed to a blast furnace which used coke to supply the large amount of energy needed to heat metal.

The technology is already widely used in the US steel industry and is seen as a way helping to decarbonise steelmaking, which is a traditional heavy user of energy and producer of CO2.

How many jobs will there be?

The new furnace will create hundreds of direct jobs alongside thousands more in construction and the supply chain.

What does this mean for Teesside?

The announcement will see an emotional return of steelmaking to Teesside after the devastating closure of Redcar steelworks in 2015. The shutdown of the SSI UK plant led to the loss of thousands of jobs and the end of 170 years of steelmaking.

Teesside’s steel industry is world-renowned, producing steel for global icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the New World Trade Center in New York.

The new furnace will provide jobs for a next generation of workers and also support British Steel’s existing Teesside operation. It is estimated it will deliver a major economic boost to the area.

When will it happen?

An application for planning permission will be submitted within weeks with work expected to start on site in mid-2024. The furnace is expected to be operational in 2025.

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