Britain says Celsa Steel has repaid emergency COVID loan, created 300 jobs
LONDON (Reuters) – The British arm of Celsa Steel has fully repaid an emergency COVID loan it received 3 years ago, generating a further 300 jobs in the process, the government said on Monday, as questions remain over the future of the industry in Britain.
The government gave Cardiff-based Celsa Steel UK an emergency loan of 30 million pounds ($38 million) in July 2020 to help the company keep trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, the government said Celsa had repaid the money in full and, in line with the terms agreed at the time of the loan, the company had also made additional payments triggered by their strong economic performance.
The loan saved more than 1,500 jobs, it added, with a further 300 created since the loan was provided.
It comes in at an uncertain for the sector, with British Steel saying it will cut up to 260 jobs and that steelmaking is uncompetitive in Britain.
The government has pledged to protect UK steel from unfair competition, and has extended anti-dumping measures on Chinese reinforcement steel.
“This government is backing our vital steel industry, and we’re doing so with a sensible approach that ensures the future of an industry that is critically important in helping to grow the UK economy,” business and trade minister Kemi Badenoch said.
Badenoch was criticised in February for saying “nothing is ever a given” when asked about the future of steel manufacturing in the UK, but has since clarified that despite challenges in the sector, it is needed for Britain’s economic resilience.
Celsa’s British operation produces around 1.2 million tonnes of steel annually from recycled scrap metal, according to the company’s website. The company is headquartered in Spain.
($1 = 0.7857 pounds)
(Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)