UK’s crude steel production in 2012 was 9.6Mt, little changed on the previous two years and lower than the 10.1Mt produced during the downturn of 2009. In 2012, of the crude steel made, 78% was produced through the integrated blast furnace – oxygen steelmaking route (BF-BOF) and the remainder in electric arc furnaces.
These figures are included in the 2012 Annual Review of UK Steel, the trade association of the UK steel industry representing all steel producers in UK and many of the steel processors. In total, 23 companies are represented plus 21 subsidiaries of the majors.
The report concentrates less on production and more on markets and energy issues. In a bright note it records the re-stating of two blast furnaces during 2012, UK’s largest at Redcar NE England now owned by the Thai company, Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) which restarted following an extended shut down and reline, and the second blast furnace at Port Talbot in South Wales following a re-build.
The report details the activities conducted by the organisation which include energy and the environment, Technical services (eg specifications), steel markets, and putting UK’s activities in a perspective with global production and demand. It also plays an important role in lobbying the UK government and the EC.
In his report, Ian Rogers, Director UK Steel, said 2012 had been a difficult year with the UK market shrinking 5% and it remains 30% below pre-recession times. However, there has been a fall in the price of raw materials and the UK government has agreed (subject to approval by the EU) to compensate steelmakers for part of the additional cost of electricity arising from the European Climate Change levee.
UK Steel Chairman, Jon Bolton, said that a key focus of his term of office will be to lobby the UK government on the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy, and he commended the government on positive moves towards this announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
The report is available free from www.eef.org.uk as a pdf or for a hard copy e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)20 7654 1518