The Chinese-owned British Steel Corporation announced that it intends to cut 260 jobs in Britain after it was affected by high-energy costs.
Last year, the company said its energy costs increased by 190 million pounds ($230 million).
It added, “Determined action is required due to the unprecedented rise in operating costs, rising inflation and the need to improve environmental performance.”
The Company indicated that it plans to close the coke ovens at its factory in Scunthorpe, northern England, which will help the Group build a green and sustainable future.
The announcement comes as the Company, which has been owned by China’s Jingye Group since 2020, is seeking financial support from the UK’s government.
In response to the planned job cuts, the Conservative government expressed disappointment. “It is extremely disappointing that British Steel chose to take this step for its employees during our negotiations with the sector,” it said.
It added, “We stand ready to support the affected employees and will continue to work with the company to find a zero-carbon, sustainable and competitive solution for the business and the wider sector, which plays a vital role in the UK economy.”
It is said that Britain is planning grants totalling £600m to help British Steel and India-owned Tata Steel on replacing highly polluting furnaces with less carbon-intensive technology.
The Company employs about 4,000 workers in the UK.
Union said, “It would fight to defend every job that is threatened,” Noting that “the proposed job losses are a direct result of Jingye’s failure to honour its commitment to making a significant investment in the plant.
The Union also decried the government’s abject inability to produce a coherent industrial strategy to protect the UK’s steelmaking capacity.