“I hope that we’re not going to do twice the same shot !”. He is bitter, Philippe Verbeke, responsible for the file Ascoval to the CGT. Because the “saviour”, British Steel, which must become on Thursday the owner of the steel mill in the north after the defection of Altifort, is much less wealthy than expected. According to the news channel Sky News, he had to beg 86 million euros to the british government to be able to continue its operations, and would be even close to bankruptcy.
“employees can’t take it anymore”
In a press release, British Steel was recognized to be in discussion with the authorities across the Channel to obtain financial support, without specifying its amount. As a (bad) taste of déjà-vu for the 270 employees of Saint-Saulve, who have been fighting for four years to save their factory. For the record, last February, the franco-belgian group Altifort, which was not to bring that € 35 million of the 137 million that he felt it necessary for the rescue of Ascoval, had finally confessed to not having the necessary funds for his project. A project that had yet been validated by the tribunal de grande instance of Strasbourg in December… as was that of British Steel, on may 2. “Employees can do more”, says the delegate CGT to Ascoval, Nacim Bardi.
The parent company of British Steel, Greybull Capital, is nevertheless desired reassuring. She was again guaranteed in Paris that she had the means to make this acquisition. “British Steel will keep its commitments, the French government will keep its commitments, and the recovery will be”, for its part, said Economy minister Bruno Le Maire, on Wednesday, when questions of the government to the national Assembly. British Steel has complied with the payment schedule in making available 5 million euros, which will make the new owner of Ascoval, confirmed to The Express the ministry of the Economy. The rest of its investment in France should come in almost all of a “shareholders ‘ loan” of 40 million euros, explains the same source.
British Steel has released 5 million euros
On the morning of Thursday 16 may, the plant will become British Steel Saint-Saulve. From this site, British Steel wants to be able to supply steel bars of its factories of Hayange, in the Moselle, and Ablasserdam, the netherlands, without having to pay the customs taxes that may apply after the Brexit. The mill French has another advantage : as it runs on electricity, it releases less CO2 than that of Scunthorpe, in the north-east of England. The CO2 is very expensive to British Steel, -137 million euros in 2018 – who has already had need of the assistance of the british authorities to settle its emissions permits from the european Union.
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The new project recovery is a little less expensive than the one that had been presented Altifort, because it does not require to invest in a train thread, this machine can make steel wire from recycled scrap. It is all the same for the british group to invest in all of 47.5 million euros, the French public authorities putting an equivalent sum in the basket of the bride. Suddenly, the industrial future of the British Steel ultimately depends on state financial support from both sides of the Channel. And financial health for the less precarious of the company asks on its ability to invest to ensure the sustainability of the site of Saint-Saulve.