Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Putting the UK steel crisis into perspective

The triple hit of SSI, Caparo Industries and Tata has rocked the UK steel industry over the past weeks and been a devastating blow for all the employees and families affected by job losses.

Raising the issues that affect steel production is really important to ensure we can retain a strong steel industry in the UK.

However, the volume of negative press doesn’t provide the whole story.

You could be forgiven for thinking that we will shortly see stalled projects across the UK. This is not the case.

Steel supply secure

Severfield is the UK’s largest structural steel contractor and we do not envisage having any supply issues of steel on our projects.

“There will be no supply constraints on UK structural steelwork contractors”

We purchase the vast majority of our steel from the UK but one of the major challenges for the UK steel industry is that there is global overcapacity in steel-making.

This means there will be no supply constraints for UK structural steelwork contractors.

Around 35 per cent of steel for the construction industry is sourced from the UK.

This wide availability of products acts as a market regulator, which continues to make steel a very cost-effective material choice at the moment.

It is also worth noting that UK-produced steel sections – the main type of steel used in the construction industry – have not been affected by any of the announcements.

“The advantages of speed and certainty of delivery continue to make steel an attractive choice”

The demand for structural steel is increasing in response to industry growth. Order books are robust and pipelines of future projects look promising.

Level playing field

We do not foresee any capacity constraints that could affect our ability to provide the industry with on-time delivery.

We absolutely support calls for a level playing field for this country’s steel producers, as a UK supply of high-quality steel creates a competitive and efficient market, which in turn supports the UK economy.

However, it is also wrong to paint the picture that all aspects of constructional steelwork are affected equally by these issues.

The construction industry can rest assured that the current issues surrounding elements of UK steel-making will not affect the ability of structural steelwork contractors to deliver current and future orders.

Ian Lawson is chief executive of Severfield

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.