British Steel has today confirmed that hundreds of steel jobs will be coming to Teesside again as an electric arc furnace is to go ahead.

This news comes eight years after the closure of Redcar Steelworks.

The collapse of SSI UK brought to an end 170 years of steelmaking and had a devastating impact on the Teesside community with more than 3,000 workers losing their jobs.

The Steelworkers' Union Community have voiced concerns about up to 2,000 job losses as a result of British Steel's plans to close the blast furnace at Scunthorpe Steelworks.

When facing re-election in 2020 Mr Houchen pledged to bring back steelwork to Teesside.

Around 250 direct jobs are set to be created with more than 2,000 in supply and construction.

He said: "In 2015, we never thought we’d be here again.

"To be able to stand here and say that steelmaking is coming back and this is not the end of our story on Teesside in relation to steel is something I am very proud of.

"Teesside there will be hundreds of jobs created directly within the steel plant but equally as importantly it also protects the almost 1,000 jobs that British Steel already employ.

"We’re creating new jobs but we’re also protecting old jobs in Teesside for decades to come."

A planning application will be submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Council in mid-November, with construction expected to begin in mid-2024. 

It is scheduled that the plant will start operating in 2025.

The project will link with British Steel's Teesside Beam Mill, at Lackenby and Special Profiles plant at Skinningrove which process steel for industrial uses.

The investment is estimated to deliver an annual economic boost of £150m to the area.

Community Union General Secretary Roy Rickhuss said: “Community acknowledges British Steel’s early engagement on proposals to transition to green steel and we welcome the company’s commitment to support our experts to scrutinise their plans.

"It is deeply disappointing however that once again our members first heard of these plans through irresponsible leaks to the media.

"We are deeply concerned by British Steel’s plans for an EAF-only approach at Scunthorpe and Teesside, and it is vital a meaningful consultation takes place to assess all the options to secure the future of steelmaking.

"Were they to be realised the plans that British Steel has announced, combined with Tata Steel’s plans, would leave the UK unable to make steel from raw materials and dangerously exposed to international markets.

"Community firmly believes that the blast furnaces continue to be vital in any responsible transition to green steelmaking."

British Steel CEO and President, Xijun Cao, said: “Decarbonisation is a major challenge for our business but we are committed to manufacturing the home-made, low-embedded carbon steel the UK needs.

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“We have engaged extensively with the public and private sector to understand the feasibility of producing net zero steel with our current blast furnace operations. However, thorough analysis shows this is not viable.

“Detailed studies show electrification could rapidly accelerate our journey to net zero and drive British Steel towards a sustainable future. It would also ensure we can provide our customers with the steel they require.

“Our owners, Jingye, have already invested £330 million in British Steel in just 3 years and they’re committed to the unprecedented investment our proposals require.”