Government says it’s talking to UK suppliers to ensure they are in the “best position” to win steel contracts but there’s no guarantee about the use of British steel in building the much-anticipated rail network.
The news comes just days after this blog highlighted how new British naval tankers are being constructed using foreign steel amid a crisis for the British steel industry.
The use of British steel in the construction of HS2 was raised in the House of Lords by Labour peer Lord Hoyle through a written parliamentary question.
This is his question: “To ask her Majesty’s Government whether steel produced in Britain will be used for the HS2 project.”
The response came from transport minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who said:
“It is estimated that HS2 will need approximately 2 million tonnes of steel over the next 10 years.
“The procurement for the main civil engineering works between Euston and Birmingham is now underway with procurements for the stations and rail systems expected to commence later this year and for rolling stock in early 2017.
“Subject to Royal Assent, the project will start construction in 2017.”
“As with the rest of the materials for construction, steel is procured by the supply chain.”
Encourage bids from UK firms
The minister went on: “We positively encourage bids from British companies and are already holding discussions with UK suppliers to make sure they are in the best possible position to win contracts for the steel that will be needed for track, concrete reinforcements, overhead wires and other structures.
“This Government has put rules in place for all its departments to ensure we can buy the right quality steel, produced under the right conditions – which will be of clear benefit to UK bidders.”
Lord Ahmad added: “HS2 provides an excellent opportunity for businesses across the UK with 25,000 jobs created during construction and 3,000 when up and running.”
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