British Steel given planning permission for Teesside electric arc furnace

British Steel’s £1.25bn decarbonisation plan has moved forward following the granting of planning permission for an electric arc furnace at its Teesside plant.


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

Its application to build another electric arc furnace (EAF), at its Scunthorpe site, is set to be decided by North Lincolnshire Council.

British Steel said the proposed transformation is subject to appropriate support from the UK government.

In a statement, British Steel president and CEO Xijun Cao said: “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.

“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.”

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.

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

A paper from British Steel explaining how EAF technology can produce all steel products and grades by managing the raw material mix can be found here.

In a separate development, British Steel has won a multi-million-pound contract to supply 9,500 tonnes of track for Egypt’s Green Line railway, a 660km long, fully electric mainline and freight network.