Offshore wind development should source locally: UK Steel

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The UK government’s plan to invest heavily into increasing offshore wind capacity could require over 5 million tonnes of steel, which should come from UK suppliers, says UK Steel director general Gareth Stace.

The UK wants to reach 40GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2030, which is good for the environment and the economy, according to Stace. “Every GW of offshore wind power requires some 180,000 tonnes of steel, meaning this increased ambition could require over five million tonnes of steel,” he observes in a note sent to Kallanish.

“However, except for some of the steel for the foundations – virtually none of the steel comes from the UK today, for the simple reason that the UK still lacks the majority of the offshore wind manufacturing supply chain,” he continues. “It is vital that in massively expanding the offshore wind capacity of the UK that the Government focuses on building a domestic supply chain that will support UK manufacturing jobs, including those in the steel sector.”

UK Steel wants the government to place the same requirements on offshore wind developers as it does on other public projects when it comes to the procurement of steel. “Let’s have a target for UK content, let’s make sure we know where the steel is made, and let’s make sure UK companies have the best opportunities possible to supply it,” Stace concludes.