Calls to use British steel on site grow louder

Grant Prior 8 years ago

Domestic manufacturers’ trade body UK Steel is launching a charter to promote sustainable British steel in construction projects following fears over the quality of imported materials.

The campaign has been welcomed by MPs during a debate on the future of the steel industry in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

The debate follows a series of scares about the quality of steel rebar imported from China.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said a new probe has been launched into Chinese rebar standards after an investigation last year revealed no problems.

Cable said: “The testing of steel is carried out by the UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steel, which is an industry body not a Government body. It does the testing and tracing.

“A year ago we initiated an inquiry into whether the system had integrity and was effective. We asked the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, which is part of the BIS family of institutions, to investigate whether the certification process was working and whether the correct testing procedures were being followed.

“It said that, having checked, there was no particular fault within the Chinese products.

“We have had further strong representations and further investigations are taking place as a result. I believe that a team from CARES is doing detailed testing in China at the moment.

“We want to make absolutely sure that the process is investigated.

“So far, no hard evidence has been found of a serious fault in the Chinese products.

“There may be such a fault, but we have to find the evidence and, so far, we have not done so.”

Ian Rodgers, Director of UK Steel, said: “British made steel is a quality product, manufactured to the highest standards.

“I think it’s important that where government or its agencies are procuring construction projects for example, they should be able to assure taxpayers that their money is being spent on quality products.

“Those who sign up to this voluntary Charter are helping support the use of high quality and responsibly produced British steel.

“The UK steel sector is critical to the future of UK manufacturing and the wider economy, and we should be proud to promote the use of high quality British steel.”

For full details of the charter click here

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