British Steel plate mill’s plant and machinery to be sold off

23 January 2018

Plant and machinery from British Steel’s mothballed Scunthorpe plate mill will be sold off after the company revealed it would not be re-opening the manufacturing facility.

The mill stopped production two years ago under previous ownership and, after much consideration, the company has decided the plate operation will close permanently.

As the mill stands idle there will be no job losses and the decision allows British Steel to further concentrate on, and significantly invest in, its iron and steel-making operations and core products.

Redundant plant from the mill will now be sold after the company appointed the specialist firm of Apex Auctions to manage the sale of equipment.

British Steel Deputy CEO Paul Martin 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.”

No decision has been made on whether or not the mill building, which has played a significant part in the Scunthorpe site’s history, will be demolished.

Paul said: “The mill was mothballed in December 2015 as part of the restructuring of the Long Products Europe business and came in response to changes in market conditions prompted by cheap imports and high electricity costs.

“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’ industry expertise in helping companies in the UK, Europe and US sell excess equipment.

Stephen Dugard, Managing Director of The Apex Group, 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.”