News story

Government action to support the steel industry

The government is working closely with the steel sector and others to secure a more sustainable future for the industry and steelworkers.

This includes taking the actions listed below, following the high-level steel summit in October 2015.

Energy costs

On 17 December we secured state aid clearance to pay further compensation to energy intensive industries (EIIs) - including steel - for renewable policy costs. This comes on top of the compensation we have already been paying to EIIs since 2013.

In the Autumn Statement we announced that we would exempt EIIs from renewable policy costs.

Further information on relief for EIIs has been published today (19 January 2016).

EU Industrial Emissions Directives

We have secured the longer lead-in times for compliance the industry asked for, which will save millions of pounds. Read the press notice (27 October 2015).

Anti-dumping

In July and again in November last year, we voted in favour of anti-dumping measures on the imports of certain steel products.

It was the UK that lobbied successfully, in support of industry calls, for an EU investigation into cheap imports of reinforcing steel bar.

We requested and secured an extraordinary meeting of the EU’s Competitiveness Council and where there is clear evidence, agreed faster action on dumping and EU action in the past month shows they have listened.

We wrote a joint letter (PDF, 131KB, 3 pages) along with other member states calling on the EU to make full use of its trade defence powers (5 February 2016).

Read the statement on the UK’s contribution to EU action on steel (11 February 2016).

Procurement

We have published and further updated guidance for government departments, allowing considerations such as social impacts, job impacts and staff safety, so that the true value of UK steel can be taken into account. We are the first country in the EU to take advantage of and implement these new flexibilities.

Projects which have used UK steel:

  • the Elizabeth line - the biggest construction project anywhere in Europe - we’ve built 26 miles of tunnels under London, using almost exclusively British steel
  • Intercity Express Programme - 2,000 tonnes of British steel were used to build the frame for the brand new £82 million Hitachi Rail factory at Newton Aycliffe which will support introduction of the transformational new intercity express programme train fleet
  • Network Rail - 98% of the 20,000 miles of rail track ordered by Network Rail comes from the Tata Steel plant at Scunthorpe
  • UK suppliers have provided significant quantities of steel for major defence equipment programmes – including a large majority of that used for the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers