Commenting on the Government’s official response the Cost of Energy Review, UK Steel’s Director General, Gareth Stace, said:
“Today’s statement by Greg Clark shows the Government has failed to grasp the fundamental impact uncompetitive electricity prices are having on the steel sector in the UK. Today’s effective ruling out of any further short term solutions to reduce electricity costs for the sector is a bitter blow.
“For the last year, the Government reply to any discussion on industrial energy prices has been an instruction to wait for this official response. Unfortunately, it is now clear the wait has not been worth it and this has simply been an elaborate exercise in ‘can kicking’.
“Today’s speech provided us with no immediate plan, no concrete proposals and no hope that any relief is on its way; amounting to little more than another vague statement of intent.
“Steel producers in the UK are today paying over 50% more for their electricity than their French and German competitors, this amounts to £50 million a year in additional costs. How could this not have a huge competitive impact for a sector where goods are traded at a truly global level?
“Urgent action is required to provide much needed short term relief, whilst we wait in hope for a long term plan that will provide a more sustainable solution to the problem. Professor Helm has put forward a raft of proposals, as too has industry. We invite Government to now give them serious reconsideration.
“Steelmakers are increasingly comparing the bold ambitions of last year’s Industrial Strategy with the reality on the ground and are beginning to lose faith.”
About UK Steel
UK Steel, a division of EEF, is the trade association for the UK steel industry. It represents all the country’s steelmakers and a large number of downstream steel processors.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is the representative voice of UK manufacturing, with offices in London, Brussels, every English region and Wales. This year we celebrate 120 years of backing Britain’s makers.