About 5,000 jobs are at risk in the British steel and aluminium industry after the principal financial backer of one of the UK’s largest industrial groups has fallen into administration.
On Friday, steel bosses met the UK’s business secretary as worries mount over the existential threat of Net Zero and sky-high electricity prices to Britain’s steel industry.
According to UK Steel, British steel producers pay 86 per cent more for electricity than their competitors in Germany and 62 per cent more than in France. Worse still, industrial electricity prices in Europe are nearly 50% higher than in the G20 — never mind China and India where industrial electricity prices are a third of UK prices.
In light of climate policy-driven rises in electricity prices it is evident that Britain’s energy-intensive industries are no longer viable without being propped up by ever growing handouts. While steel can no longer survive unsupported, this is, in many ways, the future all energy-intensive industries face as Net Zero is turning Britain into an uncompetitive and unattractive place for manufacturing.
Fears for 5,000 UK steel jobs as lender collapses
Specialist bank Greensill Capital was the main lender to businessman Sanjeev Gupta’s sprawling empire, which includes Liberty Steel.
The appointment of administrators to Greensill puts 5,000 jobs at risk at Liberty Steel and other firms.
In a court filing, Greensill said Mr Gupta’s operations were in “financial difficulty” and defaulting on debt.
Mr Gupta declined to comment on the claims, but his business GFG Alliance earlier said that it had adequate funding for its current needs.
Union officials held crisis talks with the steel magnate on Tuesday. Liberty owns 12 steel plants in the UK including in Rotherham, Motherwell, Stocksbridge, Newport and Hartlepool….
Mr Gupta, who has been called the “saviour of steel”, has defied pessimists in the industry for years by buying up seemingly unloved industrial assets.
These included steel and aluminium plants that many thought could not be run profitably in the face of cut price competition from China.