Jingye Group, the Chinese owner of British Steel, has asked the British government for financial support to keep two blast furnaces running at its Scunthorpe plant. Without support, many employees could lose their jobs. British Steel is facing a global economic downturn, rising inflation, high energy prices and carbon emissions issues. Therefore, financial assistance was needed. The British government has allocated more than 870 million US dollars to help steel producers reduce high electricity costs since 2013.
The stated request poses a major challenge for new business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg ahead of the Conservative Party conference starting Sunday in Birmingham.
The company employs approximately 4,000 people, with thousands of additional jobs dependent on the company in its supply chain.
While the exact figure for the amount requested by the Chinese industrial group is unknown, Sky insiders suggest the owners will need "hundreds of millions of pounds" to keep going.
British Steel lost £140m in 2020 due to new Chinese ownership