Opportunities worth £3.8bn identified for UK steel producers

Posted on 20 Dec 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The government has published independent research into the future capability, capacity and high value opportunities for the UK steel industry.

Global UK Steel Industry - UK Manufacturing Steel Foundry Factory Metal Stock Rolling Rail - image courtesy of Pixabay.
The government reportedly plans to use 3 million tonnes of UK steel in infrastructure projects in the next five years, such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C – image courtesy of Pixabay.

Through its ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy, the government committed to setting out a long-term plan for the UK steel sector.

The new research – carried out by a Grant Thornton-led independent consortium identifies real opportunities in new and existing markets that could be worth as much as £3.8bn a year by 2030.

The report also recognises the barriers that the sector is working to overcome, such as global over-capacity in the steel market.

The publication honours a pledge government made to annually publish steel procurement data. This information shows how government reportedly plans to use 3 million tonnes of UK steel in infrastructure projects in the next five years, such as High Speed 2 (HS2) and the construction of Hinkley Point C.

This pipeline aims to allow steel companies to better plan for the long term, helping large and small manufacturers to compete more effectively for government contracts.

This steel-specific pipeline complements the 2017 National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which sets out more than £600bn worth of planned private and public investment.

From roads to rail, defence to nuclear, the pipeline shows that central government claims to be using 3 million tonnes worth of steel across more than 50 separate projects over the next five years.

UK Steel director, Gareth Stace commented: “The government’s publication of this report is a crucial milestone along the road away from the difficulties of recent years towards a more positive, sustainable future for the steel sector.

“We already knew the UK economy was set to consume increasing volumes of steel in the years ahead, but this report puts some big figures on the scale of this untapped opportunity. At a massive £3.8bn annual opportunity for UK producers by 2030, this report shows once and for all that there can be a positive future here for our steel producers, if the right measures are put in place.”

Research and innovation centre, the Materials Processing Institute, was part of the Grant Thornton-led consortium commissioned to produce the report.

Its CEO, Chris McDonald, noted: “There are many significant opportunities within the steel industry that have the potential to support productivity gains, and the wider economy.

“The UK steel industry is well placed to become a global leader in the future, and it is through collaboration and continued commitment to R&D that will allow the industry to fulfil its potential.”