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Steel firms to boost usage


STEEL companies have signed an agreement aimed at boosting the use of the material in the construction industry.

Despite having one of its best years in terms of tonnages on site for almost a decade, 11 of the world's largest steel producers have launched a five-year promotional programme aimed at strengthening their grip on the sector.

The £9.5 million programme will aim to increase the use of steel in construction by as much as 10 per cent through market research, improving technology and launching an international architectural competition.

Over 1.3 million tonnes of steel was used on UK construction sites last year, despite massive price rises, and this total is widely expected to be equalled in 2005.