Government launches probe into Chinese rebar

Aaron Morby 8 years ago

The Government has launched an investigation into Chinese steel rebar imports and the effectiveness of the UK testing regime.

The action is being taken as concern grows about the quality and volume of Chinese steel flooding into the country.

Yesterday these fears were raised during House of Commons questions and Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed his officials are now investigating whether the UK testing regime was operating effectively.

It is estimated that more than one in every three tonnes of rebar used on site this year came from China.

The quality of imported rebar has been questioned after some batches failed to comply with British Standards.

Last month, the Enquirer revealed that some of the biggest names in the contracting world have decided to use only UK and European sourced rebar.

Labour MP for Hartlepool Ian Wright asked the business secretary whether he was “aware of cheap imported steel being dumped into domestic markets, failing British standards and raising question marks about quality, traceability and reliability? ”

Wright added: “Reinforcing steel used in the UK is certified under the CARES scheme. Is he confident that that scheme is working as well as it could be?”

Cable said the issue had been brought to his attention by British producers and the evidence raised a legitimate question.

He said: “I am in the middle of an inquiry into whether the testing process operates effectively and takes proper account of different standards between UK producers and those overseas.”

Stephen Elliott, Chairman, British Association of Reinforcement, welcomed the inquiry after months of uncertainty in the industry.

He said:  “There has been growing concern over the quality and standard of imported steel reinforcement with several major contractors refusing to use Chinese rebar over concerns of non-compliance with BS4449: Steel for the Reinforcement of Concrete, despite the material being CARES approved.

“Again we would remind our members of their commitment to responsibly sourcing within the UK and EU.

“BAR would also like to remind all customers of fabricated reinforcement to be vigilant in checking the bar marks to confirm the origin of the steel”

Importers of Chinese rebar have vigorously defended its quality.

Mark Varney, Director of Eurosteel Products Ltd said: “As an importer working with a major Chinese producer and bringing in regular shipments to the UK market for the last three years we can say categorically that our own Chinese mill product is excellent , at the very minimum comparable to domestically produced steel.

“Yongang is a new state of the art producer with the most modern equipment who export close to 1m tonnes a year of British Standard Cares approved bar to many different markets in the Middle East and Far East and some to UK.

“The material is extensively tested and checked in accordance with BS standard and Cares procedures both at the mill and by a huge variety of clients that use it in many markets and there have not been any quality issues reported.

“We have had zero claims in three years, not one piece of steel has failed testing. Cares have conducted regular tests and checks of the mill and it’s products as have our clients and have found not a shred of evidence to suggest that the material we see in the UK is anything less than 100% in conformity with standard.

“We are also told that the same product is being used in large volumes in major construction projects in UAE and elsewhere in Middle East in projects being run and managed by major UK based construction firms.”



Latest news

Greswolde Construction goes under

Solihull contractors ceases trading with 24 jobs lost
2 days ago

Designs revealed for £1bn London Blackfriars tower blocks

Fosters design landmark green office skyscraper and two blocks of flats for Southwark site
3 days ago

Everton stadium job still on budget despite inflation

Club and Laing O'Rourke confident they can still build new ground for £500m
3 days ago

Construction output falls 1.4% halting 7-month growth spurt

Fresh output and orders figures confirm summer construction slowdown
3 days ago

McLaren gets green light for £85m build-to-rent scheme

Construction set to start this autumn on major city centre development
3 days ago

BAM limbers up for £25m Bedworth leisure centre

Pioneering Warwickshire health and fitness hub to start this autumn
3 days ago

Keepmoat to start four-year build in Wigan

Major regeneration scheme to start across four sites
3 days ago

Solihull contractor Greswolde heading for administration

New investors took over business 12 months ago
4 days ago

Duo win £500m canal and river main works deal

Kier and Bentley bag Canal & Rivers Trust's largest ever water engineering works deal
4 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year finalists revealed

70 of the industry's brightest talents: Full list
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon fills new strategic change director role

Vistry Group change director joins private builder to support future growth
4 days ago

Work starts on £42m Oldham Spindles overhaul

Willmott Dixon signs off £42m deal to create new market, offices and event space
4 days ago

Firms wanted for Telford & Wrekin £1.6bn building works DPS

Call up for dynamic purchasing system covering building and refurbishment work
4 days ago

Kier pulls off contracts league double in July

Contractor bags highest value of new work and tops rolling 12 months ranking
5 days ago

Hinkley Point C giant water intakes craned onto seabed

Video: contractors complete one of the world’s most complex marine engineering projects
5 days ago

Taziker revenue jumps 30% to record £73m

Multi-disciplinary engineering specialist boosts headcount to 366 staff
5 days ago

Consultant buys scaffolding contractor

RSK Group makes MG Scaffolding its latest acquisition
5 days ago

M&E specialist gears up for £16m Aston Martin package

Major package award on McLaren Silverstone site
5 days ago

Plans in for Brentford 110-flat canalside scheme

Makers’ Yard mixed commercial and residential use scheme
5 days ago

WSP to buy consultant RPS Group for £591m

5,000 staff at Oxfordshire based firm to join WSP
6 days ago

Countryside puts offsite factory up for sale

Offers invited for Bardon plant which is less than a year old
6 days ago

M&E specialist Spie UK arm returns to profit

French parent group launches a strategic review of UK operations after performance stabilises
6 days ago

Site boss fined for locking out safety inspectors

Police called to enter site before fire fighters rescue workers stranded on roof
6 days ago

Rebid starts for £200m M5 junction job

Cost inflation forces retender for £200m junction 10 rebuild near Cheltenham
6 days ago

New Downing Construction boss named

Andy Thomas takes top job as Ian Orton steps back after 24 years
6 days ago

Plans in for 600 homes at London Aylesbury estate

Notting Hill Genesis aims to start work next year on phase 2 of Southwark estate rebuild
6 days ago

Tide gets green light for UK’s tallest modular tower

Volumetric specialist to build 48-storey student skyscraper at Canary Wharf
1 week ago

TopHat cuts losses and aims for profit in three years

Modular specialist investing for future as latest results show £19.4m loss
7 days ago

Story Contracting names next chief executive

Andy Joy to be promoted to CEO as Jason Butterwork becomes vice chairman
7 days ago

Stalled £100m North London build-to-rent tower to start

Essential Living commits to start Swiss Cottage scheme six years after planning OK'd
7 days ago

Contractor services