New steel taskforce urges cut to energy prices

A new steel taskforce has called for reduced energy prices to help the industry. The Midlands Steel Taskforce has been set up after the sector crashed last week with more […]

By Jacqueline Echevarria

A new steel taskforce has called for reduced energy prices to help the industry.

The Midlands Steel Taskforce has been set up after the sector crashed last week with more than 260,000 jobs at risk.

Business leaders, academics and economists met in Birmingham to find a strategy to support the steel operators in the region.

The main focus of the taskforce is to develop a plan to mitigate energy costs during production.

West Midlands MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Neena Gill said: “Other European countries are not facing a similar situation. It’s interesting that France and Germany paid half the cost for energy than in the UK, in the steel sector alone. We have to overcome the problems, some issues have been related to the strong pound, steel dumping and energy costs.

“There are actions I believe the Government could have taken. This crisis has been developing, it hasn’t happened overnight. They could have asked the Commission to explore anti dumping and stop steel being dumped.”

High energy costs in the UK have a “massive impact” on the nation’s steel industry, according to Gareth Stace, Director of trade association UK Steel.

Tata Steel cut 1,200 UK jobs partly due to high power prices last week.