Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has pledged to keep up the pressure for HS2 to use UK steel after the Government confirmed their forecasts for the steel required for major infrastructure projects.
In reply to Parliamentary questions from Ms Flint, BEIS Minister, Claire Perry confirmed that HS2 alone will require 2 million tonnes of steel in the next few years. The Minister also confirmed that the major infrastructure projects, HS2, Hinckley Point nuclear power station and motorway maintenance will use 3million tonnes of steel.
Said Ms Flint: “These projects are a huge test for the Government. UK steel producers are keen to play their part in supporting major modernisation projects, like HS2, and I will be keeping up the pressure on the Government to make sure UK steel is an important player at every stage of HS2.
“We cannot have another catastrophe like the Scottish Executive’s blunder over the Queensferry Crossing where £1.6billion worth of steel went to China, Poland and Spain. Not a single UK producer got a look in. As we leave the European union, we must have a muscular economic approach that rebalances our economy and supports key foundation industries like UK steel.
“UK steel still supports 19,000 jobs in over 200 firms. This is not an industry on its last legs. It is still vital to UK plc and in the wake of the Government’s decision to cancel rail electrification projects in Wales, the Midlands, South Yorkshire and the Lake District which was a blow to UK manufacturing, we need to have our major steel producers at the heart of projects like HS2.”
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, the steelworkers’ union said: “HS2 is a great British engineering project and it should only be built with great British steel. The steelworkers at Scunthorpe make some of the best rail track in the world, and HS2 should be supporting those jobs. Government ministers have previously offered assurances on steel procurement for HS2, we now need them to recommit to using British steel wherever possible in this vitally important infrastructure project.”
The Minister’s answers to Ms Flint can be found HERE.