Feb 2, 2023
UK Urges British Steel to Continue Talks to Secure Its Future
(Bloomberg) -- The UK government urged British Steel to continue talks to secure its future, following reports the Chinese-owned company is considering shedding 800 jobs at its site in Scunthorpe, northern England.
“I would encourage the company to continue discussions with us to reach a solution,” Business Minister Nusrat Ghani said in the House of Commons on Thursday. “The government has put forward a generous package of support.”
The UK has been close to agreeing a £300 million ($370 million) package to help British Steel cut its carbon emissions and prevent thousands of job losses, as the steelmaker struggles with high energy and carbon prices. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration is concerned that the company’s demise could create significant decommissioning liabilities and undermine domestic steel production.
Ghani said any decision Jingye makes on the future of its UK operations is a “commercial” one, but said the government would ensure support is available to help employees. The company itself has been offered £120 million in grants to ensure it can stay in Scunthorpe, as well as export finance, protections for domestic production and support for energy costs.
On Wednesday, Sky News reported British Steel is drawing up plans for 800 redundancies, despite the ongoing talks with the government. The company is owned by China’s Jingye Group.
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