17th March 2021
For immediate release
UK Steel: Joe Morris, 07920040510
Commenting on the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy published by the Government today, Gareth Stace, UK Steel Director General said:
“The UK can only build a truly low-carbon economy with a low-carbon steel sector. A low-carbon economy will still be a steel intensive one, using steel for wind-turbines, electric vehicles, energy efficient buildings and much more besides, steel and steel production is fundamental to a sustainable future. Decarbonising steel production by 2035, as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change is an enormous challenge, both technically and commercially.
“If we are to meet this challenge, the Government must deliver the right policy framework to do this, just as it has for the power sector over the last decade. Government must create a route to decarbonisation for our steel industry, where it can produce steel in a low-carbon manner whilst continuing to compete in domestic and international markets.
“Critically this must include creating a market for low-carbon market in the UK. Steel makers need to know that if they decarbonise and significantly increase their costs of production, that there is a market out there in which they can continue to make a profit. Crucially too, we must see competitively priced power in the UK. All decarbonisation options for steel will see a massive increase in electricity consumption, and as long as UK producers face the highest prices in Europe, the UK is not the primary destination for investment in low-carbon steel production. We urge the government to act on this long-standing issue as quickly as possible.
“I welcome the ambition and commitment the Government sets out in this strategy to work with industry to address the challenges of decarbonisation and to build the right business environment. Our sector looks forward to working with Kwasi Kwarteng and his team to deliver on this ambition and drive emissions down. With the right framework in place, the steel sector can bring investment to the UK, create thousands of green jobs, and deliver a modern, green steel sector worthy of a modern, Net Zero economy.”
About UK Steel: UK Steel, a division of Make UK, is the trade association for the UK steel industry. It represents all the country’s steelmakers and a large number of downstream steel processors.
UK steel in numbers:
- Produces 7 million tonnes of steel a year, around 81% of the UK’s annual requirement in 2020
- Employs 33,600 people directly in the UK and supports a further 42,300 in supplies chains
- The average steel sector salary is £36,000, 18% higher than the UK national average and 36% higher than the regional average in Wales, and Yorkshire & Humberside where steel sector jobs are concentrated
- Makes a £2.8 billion direct contribution to UK GDP and supports a further £3.6 billion
- Makes a £2.7 billion direct contribution to the UK’s balance of trade.
 International Steel Statistics Bureau
 ONS – Direct employment: ONS, Industry (2, 3 and 5 - digit SIC) - Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 2 - (24.1, 24.2, 24.3) & Indirect employment: Type I UK employment multipliers - 2.26
 ONS – Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
 ONS GDP Output – low level aggregates 2019 and type 1 multiplier
 International Steel Statistic Bureau – UK steel exports net of import of raw materials/inputs