[Ferro-Alloys.com] The Chinese owner of British Steel has sent a private plane with medical and protective gear to its workers in the United Kingdom and has donated further supplies to help the local community through the COVID-19 crisis, according to a report in British newspaper The Guardian.
Jingye Group, which completed its buyout of British Steel earlier this month, sent the plane on Tuesday evening, the report stated.
The protective equipment includes face masks and goggles, forehead temperature check guns, thermometers, and medical gloves.
The equipment will be used to protect workers and keep British Steel's Scunthorpe-based steelworks operational during the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced the UK into lockdown. Blast furnaces must be kept on for 24 hours and cannot simply be turned on and off if the pandemic forces workers off site, a source close to Jingye told The Guardian.
Half of the supplies will be donated to the wider community, including the local hospital. As of Wednesday, there had been 24 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lincolnshire, the county where Scunthorpe is located.
Hebei-based industrial company Jingye bought British Steel for a reported 70 million pounds ($84 million), in a deal that secured 3,200 jobs in the UK and saved the company from liquidation.
Jingye has pledged to "modernize and rejuvenate" British Steel, a major manufacturer that has been hit by a number of challenges in recent years, including decreased demand following the 2008 financial crisis, lower steel prices on global markets, and the cost of new European Union climate change rules.
"It has not been an easy journey after we announced our intention in November, but the longer I have spent in Scunthorpe, the more I have come to believe in the successful future of these steelworks," Jingye Chief Executive Li Huiming said following the completion of the deal earlier this month.
Jingye said it plans to invest 1.2 billion pounds in British Steel during the next decade. It will upgrade the plants and machinery, improve the company's environmental performance, and boost energy-efficiency to place the operations on a more "competitive and sustainable footing".（China Daily）
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