Posted: Sat 13th May 2023

New UK Government rules to boost uptake of British-made steel in public projects

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, May 13th, 2023

In a bid to strengthen the domestic steel industry, the UK Government has today announced revised regulations under the Public Procurement Notice (PPN) that emphasise the reporting of steel origin in public projects.

This change is anticipated to bring British-made, ‘melted and poured’ steel into the spotlight, thereby enhancing the procurement process for publicly funded projects.

Under the updated PPN, the origin of imported steel – including those processed through third countries such as Turkey, and originating from countries like Russia – will no longer be simply re-labeled.

This move is expected to aid in tracking products sourced from sanctioned countries, thereby ensuring increased transparency and accountability.

The revised regulations are designed to complement existing incentives for public bodies to boost their procurement of British steel.

These include considerations such as national resilience, job creation, and environmental impact. In fact, it has been highlighted that producing steel in the UK to high British standards is significantly more carbon-efficient than importing it from foreign countries, including China.

Prior to this revision, the origin of steel was not considered in public procurement decisions. The product typically sits two or three tiers down the supply chain, and does not directly bid into any procurement process.

Responding to the new regulations, Gareth Stace, Director General of UK Steel, remarked, “These changes are a direct response to UK Steel and our members pushing for stronger tracking of steel sources. Leaders should think twice about origin of their steel, including sanctioned material.”

Public projects in the UK used £640m of steel in 2020/21, with only around £268m of UK-made steel, indicating a massive potential for increased domestic uptake, provided the revised PPN is adhered to.

Stace further emphasised that the PPN must encompass more products and categories to maximise its effectiveness, saying, “In the past, buyers didn’t know where their steel came from.”

“By buying British steel, not only will infrastructure projects easily meet new regulations, but they will also boost British jobs, regional levelling up and national manufacturing security.”

“It just makes sense to buy the steel, for your project, that was made here in the UK.”

These amendments signal a potential turning point for the British steel industry, paving the way for a future of sustainable growth, job creation and heightened national security.

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