British Steel boss Ron Deelen to resign at the end of March

British Steel announced the departure of its chief executive just over a year after the company was saved from bankruptcy by a Chinese investor.

Ron Deelen will step down from the management of the UK’s second-largest steelmaker at the end of the month to pursue new projects, the company confirmed on Wednesday, as it unveiled plans for a £ 100million investment.

The Dutchman became interim boss of British Steel when he went into liquidation in 2019, with the appointment made permanent following its takeover by industrial conglomerate Jingye Group.

Under Deelen’s tenure, the metalsmaker, which employs more than 3,000 people, focused on a plan to turn around and return to profitability.

Jingye has pledged to invest £ 1.2bn over a decade in modernization facilities at British Steel, which is based at the large Scunthorpe factory in Lincolnshire and operates smaller sister sites in Teesside and the Netherlands. Low.

The £ 100million will fund new billet casting, a scrap preheating facility, cranes and a new environmental emissions control system.

Deelen will continue to work closely with the company. Xijun Cao, currently chairman of British Steel, will also assume the role of chief executive from April, the company said.

Li Huiming, general manager of Jingye Group, said the company is now on a “more sustainable basis.”

The future of Britain’s ailing steel industry has received renewed attention amid questions over the financial viability of Liberty Steel, the country’s third-largest producer.

Steel of freedom has put hundreds of workers on leave at some of its factories under the government’s Covid-19 program and is looking for new sources of funding after its main lender, Green capital, filed for bankruptcy last week. Production at its two special steel sites in South Yorkshire has been temporarily halted.

The owner of Liberty, the businessman Sanjeev Gupta, called on business units in his group to save money and “reduce their call on group resources” as he tries to come to an agreement on the debt to Greensill. Talks to secure long-term funding were continuing, Gupta told staff in an email last week.

British Steel faced ruin two years ago when its former owner, investment firm Greybull Capital, saw a state bailout request rejected. A few weeks earlier, the ministers had provided him with a emergency loan of £ 120million to cover an EU bill for carbon emissions.

However, the company continued to operate with tens of millions of pounds of public funds for nine months under the supervision of the official receiver, a court-appointed official, until a buyer was found.

The owner of the UK’s largest steelworks in the south Wales town of Port Talbot, Indian company Tata Steel, had fruitless talks with the government over an injection last year potential of hundreds of millions of pounds as she was hammered by the coronavirus crisis.

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