British Steel secures major Egyptian contract to supply railway track

British Steel has secured a deal to supply rail track for a new, fully-electrified route in north Africa, the company has announced.

The contract will see about 9,500 tonnes of track produced in Scunthorpe for Egypt's Green Line railway, between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

British Steel said it was "a multimillion-pound" contract.

It comes following protests in February over proposed job cuts, with plans to close its blast furnaces in the town.

A union claimed up to 2,000 jobs were at risk after British Steel announced proposals to replace the blast furnaces with an electric arc furnace to help create "a green and sustainable company".

According to the company, the Green Line railway route will be Egypt's first fully-electrified mainline and freight network, and it will be about 410 miles (about 660km) long.

It will carry trains travelling at speeds of up to 155mph (about 250km/h).

British Steel has not disclosed how much the contract is worth.

But in a statement, the company's commercial manager, Jerome Bonef, said: "We are delighted British Steel has been awarded this contract and to be involved in such a transformational project for Egypt, which will bring significant improvements to the transport network."

A spokesperson for the steel company said the line "promises to revolutionise Egypt's transport system, with the construction of a high-speed network reducing primary energy usage and overall air pollution".

Two shipments will be transported from British Steel to the north Egyptian port of Alexandria over the next couple of months.

British Steel applied for planning permission to build an electric arc furnace at its Scunthorpe steelworks earlier this year, sparking protests over potential job losses.

The firm, which is owned by China's Jingye Group, previously said it had invested £330m in UK steelmaking.