Miriam Cates MP calls for greater commitment to buying uk made and poured steel
The benefits of a thriving steel sector are not just environmental but geopolitical. In a volatile world, a strong domestic steel sector is a vital pillar of economic independence, industrial resilience and national security. The pandemic has made clear the benefits of UK-based manufacturing; retaining and growing a thriving steel sector.
Nuclear and steel are prized components of British industry and the Sizewell C nuclear project will certainly strengthen Britain's energy security. However it must also be made to contribute to the security of our steel sector through ensuring it procures its steel pipeline, worth more than £700 million over the next 10 years, through UK manufactured steel.
In signing the UK Steel Charter, Sizewell C has pledged to taking specific steps to maximise the amount of UK steel used in the project. These include:
- Developing a future steel pipeline, detailing and publicising its future steel requirements well in advance of tendering and construction
- Placing a requirement in appropriate contracts requiring the origin of steel to be provided
- Monitoring and producing data on the levels of UK-produced steel used
I was pleased to be able to use the Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng's, statement on British energy security to raise the case for making sure that projects such as Sizewell C purchase steel made and poured in the UK.
Statement on the British energy security strategy | April 19
I very much welcome the commitment to rebuilding Britain’s nuclear industry. It is great news for consumers and it should be great news for the UK steel industry, particularly Speciality Steel in Stocksbridge in my constituency, which specialises in producing the kind of high-value steel required for such projects. I know that my right hon. Friend has welcomed Sizewell C’s decision to sign the UK steel charter. Can he confirm that that means it must commit to purchasing steel made and poured in the UK?
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - Kwasi Kwarteng
I cannot make any commitments on behalf of the company, because it is at arm’s length and has its own corporate structure, as my hon. Friend will know. However, as Secretary of State I have always championed the steel industry, which is vital for national security and for levelling up. It is a hugely important industry and I am very happy to work with her to promote it.