British Steel has been given permission to build an Electric Arc Furnace at its Teesside plant as part of a  £1.25billion decarbonisation plan.

The company’s application was approved by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council following a detailed consultation period.

Its application to build another Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), at its Scunthorpe site, is set to be decided by North Lincolnshire Council.

The manufacturer’s proposed transformation is still subject to appropriate support from the UK Government, but British Steel President and CEO Xijun Cao said: “We’re delighted to have received planning permission to build an Electric Arc Furnace at our Teesside site, and thank everyone who has supported our proposals to bring steelmaking back to the region.

READ MORE: A dramatic return to Teesside

“The proposed installation of EAFs in Scunthorpe and Teesside is central to our journey to a green future as they would help us reduce emissions of CO2 by more than 75 per cent. However, it is crucial we now secure the backing of the UK Government."

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: "This is about our place in the world. It is about the pride in our communities. Generations of Teessiders built the world and now that journey can start again

"It is not a party-political issue. It’s common sense. We can come together – irrespective of political party – and deliver what is needed for our area. I’ll work tirelessly with local labour councils and whoever may be in Government to deliver what our area needs. I’ve done that over the last seven years and that won’t change."

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Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: "During the industrial revolution, our blast furnaces built the world. Now with the latest in electric arc technology, we can lead the green industrial revolution too."

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "After what has amounted to a completely unnecessary delay, it's excellent to see sense prevail for everybody on Teesside." 

Xijun added: “We are confident our proposals will help secure the low-embedded carbon steelmaking the UK requires now and for decades to come.

“Our owner, Jingye, is committed to the unprecedented investment decarbonisation requires and our desire to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, coupled with challenging market conditions, means it is imperative swift and decisive action is taken to ensure a sustainable future for British Steel.

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“We started talks with the UK Government in 2022 about the timely support we require on our journey to net zero, including the need for the British government to adopt the correct policies and frameworks now to back our drive to become a clean, green, and successful company.

"We are committed to working with the UK Government and need to reach an agreement quickly so we can achieve our ambitious goals, secure thousands of jobs and keep making the steel Britain needs for generations to come.”

Significant preparation works, including environmental and technical studies, and equipment selection, are underway to ensure the company’s ambitious proposals can be delivered.

Both proposed EAFs would replace the aging iron and steelmaking operations at British Steel’s Scunthorpe site which are responsible for the vast majority of its CO2 emissions. The company proposes maintaining current operations until a transition to electric arc steelmaking.British Steel has started preliminary talks with trade unions about electrification, and has promised to support employees affected by its decarbonisation plans.