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Scunthorpe-based British Steel announce £50m mill investment

British Steel's Scunthorpe's rod mill Image copyright Steve Morgan/British Steel
Image caption The upgrade of the rod mill is to be completed by 2019, the company said.

British Steel has announced a £50m upgrade of its Scunthorpe rod mill.

The company, based in the North Lincolnshire town, said it was the "biggest single investment in its manufacturing operations for a decade".

Work at the Scunthorpe site is due to start this summer and the new operation is set to be ready by autumn 2019, the company said.

It is also investing a further £40m across the business.

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The business was purchased off Tata in 2016 for £1 by Greybull, a UK-based investment firm, and renamed British Steel.

British Steel executive chairman Roland Junck said: "Our order book is strong and we've the capacity and capability to play a significant role in major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and the Heathrow expansion."

However, increased raw material costs and fluctuating steel prices were a challenge, he said.

Mr Junck also called for action to prevent the dumping of cheap steel into Europe following steel tariffs imposed by the United States.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The British Steel brand returned in 2016 after the company was bought by an investment firm

Paul McBean, the multi-union chairman at the Scunthorpe site, said: "The rod mill investment is a fantastic second birthday present for British Steel.

"While we still have a long way to go, investments of this scale demonstrate the great optimism flowing through this company."

British Steel also has sites in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Teesside and France.

The firm produces more than 2.8 million tonnes of steel each year.

Image copyright Steve Morgan/British Steel
Image caption The wire rod produced is used in thousands of products, British Steel said

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