Commercial steel-making returns to Teesside

Commercial steel-making returns to Teesside

A spin-out business from the Materials Processing Institute (MPI) in Middlesbrough has brought steel-making back to Teesside.

The MPI has launched a commercial steel-making operation to support the production of high quality steels for UK industry which are manufactured in the UK.

The Normanton Steel plant at MPI had previously been used for new product development and process refinement and now also delivers commercial manufacturing across a range of steel types. 

It has been introduced to meet customers’ bespoke requirements, which is generally for smaller orders that cannot be produced economically in larger plants.

Chris McDonald, chief executive of the MPI, said: “30 years ago many doubted the British automotive and aerospace makers would still be around today, but they are now amongst the best in the world and underpin our economy.

“That’s why those who dismiss steel and other materials as “sunset” industries risk creating a self-fulfilling prophecy despite their current difficulties.

“Instead, industry-led responses like the Materials Catapult proposal we are discussing with government, offer immediate and targeted support to increase their long-term productivity, and will enable Britain’s world leading universities and entrepreneurs to commercialise and upscale their innovations to help attract inward investment, make the leap to next generation production facilities and become international leaders.

“That’s why we are launching this venture, to demonstrate that there is a positive future for steel manufacture in the UK, around high quality specialist alloys and innovative processes of manufacture.

“This new operation enables MPI to be the hub for steel-making on Teesside, and continue the area’s proud steel legacy, while supporting our position at the forefront of materials and product research and development for industry.”

Manned by an experienced production team, the steel plant features metal melting, refining and casting facilities. It also includes the UK’s only small electric arc furnace for the commercial production of steel ingots and concast billet.

As a not-for-profit organisation, MPI supports businesses working across a range of sectors, from steel and chemicals to energy and mining, with a range of facilities and research and development services.