Mr Kwarteng Assures UK Steel Council Meeting of Full Support
As part of the UK government’s ongoing engagement with the steel industry on how best to decarbonise, UK’s Business Secretary Mr Kwasi Kwarteng co-chaired the latest UK Steel Council meeting on 21 July 2021, along with the Chair of UK Steel Mr Luis Sanz. Representatives from the 6 major steel companies in the UK, trade unions and the devolved administrations also attended. Mr Kwarteng reaffirmed the UK government’s support for the steel sector and, in partnership with industry, commitment to helping it modernise, increase competitiveness and transition to a cleaner and profitable future and reiterated the need for a sustainable industry and discussed the ongoing work to explore an overarching, longer-term approach for the sector. Mr Kwarteng emphasised that as a national strategic asset, steel will play a critical role in providing the materials necessary to drive the UK’s green industrial revolution and that the government would continue to work closely with the sector on its transition to a low carbon future.
Following on from the previous meeting, where industry body UK Steel presented its draft roadmap for achieving net zero steel production, the Council discussed progress on the report, including a new section on jobs and the skills needed in a decarbonised industry. Other items raised included electricity prices, the quality and availability of scrap for steel making and what would be required to create a market for low carbon steel. The council also discussed what government support and on what timescales, might be needed to enable a transition to a competitive low carbon future. It was agreed the Council would meet again after Summer to discuss progress and that government and industry would continue to work together closely on these areas.
This is in addition to the ongoing meetings of the Steel Procurement Taskforce, chaired by Investment Minister Lord Grimstone, working to address difficulties reported by the sector in competing for and securing major public contractors. The government is also reviewing its public procurement rules to better able to meet the needs of this country now we’ve left the European Union.
The UK government has already announced a GBP 250 million Clean Steel Fund that will help the industry transition to a low carbon future, and, since 2013, it has provided over £600 million in relief to the sector to help with the costs of electricity.
UK Business Secretary Mr Kwasi Kwarteng
UK Energy Minister Ms Anne-Marie Trevelyan
UK Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone
Wales Secretary Mr Simon Hart
Welsh Government’s Minister for Economy & Transport Mr Vaughan Gething
UK Steel Chair & Celsa CEO Mr Luis Sanz
Tata Steel UK Chairman Mr Sandip Biswas
British Steel Chairman Mr Huiming Li
Liberty Steel’s Mr Peter Hogg
Sheffield Forgemasters COO Mr Gareth Barker
Outokumpu DirectorMr David Scaife
UK Steel Director General Mr Gareth Stace
Community Union’ Mr Roy Rickhuss
Unite Union’s Mr Harish Patel,
GMB Union’s Mr Ross Murdoch
Materials Processing Institute CEO Mr Chris McDonald