Iron and Steel: Competition

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to help maintain a competitive UK steel industry.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government is firmly committed to supporting a productive and vibrant UK steel sector. We are working with the sector, the unions and devolved administrations to support the UK steel sector to develop a long-term sustainable future for the UK steel industry. My Department commissioned independent research to identify high value opportunities for UK steel, worth up to £3.8 billion a year by 2030.

In the 2018 Budget, the Government announced an Industrial Energy Transformation Fund with investment of £315 million to help businesses with high energy use to cut their bills and transition UK industry to a low carbon future.

Since 2013, the Government has provided more than £312m in compensation to the steel sector to make energy costs more competitive, including over £53 million during 2018. We are working hard to make sure that UK producers of steel have the best possible chance of competing for and winning contracts across all Government procurement. Since 2016, all Government departments and arms-length bodies are required to consider socio-economic and environmental factors when procuring steel.

The recent announcement of two important new funding programmes will help the steel industry in its efforts to remain competitive while reducing emissions and supporting the decarbonisation of the UK economy to achieve our ambitious 2050 net-zero targets: the £250m Clean Steel Fund and the planned £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund.

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