Monday, October 22, 2012

News: MPs urge Government to back steel making in Rotherham


The three Rotherham MPs are urging the Government to look closely at its proposed changes to the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and the impact it could have on steel making in South Yorkshire.

There are concerns amongst steel makers that the Government may alter the current rules on the Climate Change Levy which could end up penalising steel made by electric arc furnaces (EAF) which require large amount of electrical power delivered to work effectively.

The Rotherham MPs, Denis MacShane, John Healey and Kevin Barron, are urging that the Treasury add to their plans and include measures that would mean that steel manufacturers and "metallurgical processes" be exempt from the CCL.

In a letter to the Economic Secretary, they stated that: "We believe that the cost of restoring the full CCL relief to EAF companies would be of great assistance to steel making in Rotherham and Sheffield."

Rotherham MP, Denis MacShane, added: "We all want a greener economy but that should be achieved by focusing on insulation of homes and other promoting non C02 emitting transport. The productive steel exporters should not be unfairly penalised."

Investment in 2005 saw the Rotherham site of Tata Steel (formerly Corus) at Aldwarke become the focus for steel making, casting and rolling of specialist steels. The steel is manufactured at the Rotherham site before undergoing further refining at the Stocksbridge plant or the Thrybergh Bar Mill to improve the quality.

A recent £6.5m investment in aerospace steel production has boosted output of these steels by 30% and has led to the creation of eight new jobs. The scheme included two new vacuum arc remelting (VAR) furnaces and specialist testing equipment, as well as a new ultrasonic immersion testing facility.

The steel, predominantly stainless and low alloy grades, is used in landing gear and aircraft engines including the landing gear of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Tata Steel Europe employs around 2,000 steelworkers in South Yorkshire.

Following this year's budget, Karl-Ulrich Köhler, MD & CEO of Tata Steel's European operations called on more to be done to support energy-intensive industrial companies in the UK.

Earlier this month the government began consultation on its proposed £250m Energy Intensive Industries Package (EIIP) which aims to reduce the impact of energy and climate change policies on the cost of electricity for energy intensive industries.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Many energy intensive businesses are located in areas that have been hit hard by the economic downturn, which is why it's important that we get this right and present the best support package available."


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