Network Rail eyes steel assets to keep trains on track
3 Jul 2019
Network Rail has indicated it may be among the bidders after suggesting it was interested in part of British Steel’s assets.
In May, British Steel was placed into compulsory liquidation following the failure of loan talks between the Government and then owner Greybull Capital.
The UK rail system is heavily dependent upon British Steel for supplying its thousands of miles of tracks.
A bid by the rail firm would be intended to secure the safety of supply but is unlikely to involved plans to purchase the whole of British Steel.
Russian and Indian companies are believed to be among the serious bidders who put in offers to the Official Receiver before last Sunday’s (30 June) deadline.
Permanent closure of British Steel would directly affect 5,000 jobs at the company’s Scunthorpe site – housing one of the UK only two blast furnaces still operating. Another 20,000 jobs along the supply chain are also vulnerable.
The main union at Scunthorpe, the GMB, said staff backed efforts to save the troubled steelworks.
National officer Ross Murdoch described the bids as a show of confidence in British Steel’s workforce and the industry.
“Production will carry on as normal as workers await consideration of the bids, and in hope that this vital industry gets the proper support it needs to be safeguarded for the longer term,” he said.
“British Steel employees are proudly showing that they will fight for the future of this productive and viable industry.”