As part of cost-cutting initiatives to close the coke ovens at one of its factories, British Steel is expected to eliminate up to 260 employees.

The Chinese-owned steel producer claimed that the change at its Scunthorpe location was a part of an effort to overcome economic issues around the world and create a “green and sustainable future.”

The organization said that its carbon and energy bills rose by £190 million last year and that “decisive action” was necessary due to the “extraordinary spike” in operational costs, soaring inflation, and the need to enhance environmental performance.

The Unite union stated that it will seek to protect every job and would not completely rule out taking strike action.

British Steel currently employs around 4,200 workers in the UK and is owned by Chinese company Jingye.

British Steel chief executive Xifeng Han said: ‘Steel is vital to modern economies and with demand expected to grow over the coming decades, British Steel has a crucial role to play in ensuring the UK has its own supply of high-quality steel.’

Han added: ‘To make sure we can deliver the steel Britain requires, we’re undergoing the biggest transformation in our 130-year history.

‘To support the journey to net zero, our owners, Jingye, have invested £330million in capital projects during their first three years of ownership and they continue to invest unprecedented sums of money in British Steel.

‘Jingye is committed to our long-term future but decarbonisation is a major challenge for our business and, like most companies, we’re facing significant challenges because of the economic slowdown, rising inflation and exceptionally high energy prices.