Equipment to be sold off as British Steel confirms it will not be reopening redundant Scunthorpe plate mill

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 31 Jan 2018

British Steel has revealed it will not be reopening its Scunthorpe plate mill and will instead be selling plant and machinery from the mothballed manufacturing facility.

Production at the mill was stopped two years ago, when the works was under the ownership of Tata Steel.

British Steel has now made the decision to permanently close the facility and concentrate on, as well as significantly investing in, its iron and steel-making operations and core products.

The specialist firm of Apex Auctions has been appointed to manage the sale of redundant plant equipment from the mill.

British Steel has confirmed there will be no job losses from the decision as the mill currently stands idle, while no decision has been made yet as to whether the mill building will be demolished.

Paul Martin, the company's deputy chief executive, said: "This process presents an excellent opportunity for steel manufacturers across the world to acquire some unique plant and machinery.

"All the equipment will be auctioned or sold via private treaty including mill drive motors and associated control systems, high pressure water descaling pumps, trimming/cross cut shears and hot/cold plate levellers.

"We're pleased to be working with Apex Auctions on the sale, which we expect to generate significant interest throughout the global steel industry."


Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn toured the plate mill during a visit to the then-Tata Steel works in 2015 (Image: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire)

The plate mill was mothballed in December 2015 as part of the restructuring of the then-Tata Steel Long Products Europe business and it has played a significant part in the history of the Scunthorpe works.

Mr Martin said the mothballing came in response to changes in market conditions which were prompted by cheap imports and high electricity costs.

He said: "The mill, and the highly-skilled employees who used to work there, had a global reputation for the excellence of their plate – millions of tonnes of which went into major projects around the world.

"It will always remain an important part of our heritage but we haven’t seen the necessary improvements in the plate market to warrant the investment required to re-start the mill.

"We can now increase our focus and investment in our iron and steel-making operations along with our core products of rail, wire rod, special profiles and constructional steel."

Apex Auctions is part of the Apex Group, which has more than 50 years of industry expertise in helping companies in the UK, Europe and US sell excess equipment.

Stephen Dugard, the group's managing director, said: "The sale presents a rare opportunity to acquire some unique plant and machinery and we’re delighted to be working with British Steel on this project."

Sale details will be available from the beginning of February at www.apexauctions.co.uk or for more information, call Mr Dugard on 01273 224460.



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