High energy prices put the heat on UK steel production

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High energy prices put the heat on UK steel as industry claims it is almost impossible to keep production running


The steel industry says it is at risk of collapse as high energy prices make it almost impossible to keep production running.

Energy costs rose as much as 3,000 per cent between the winter of 2020 and winter 2021, says steel union Community, with an average of only five hours a day when power prices are low enough for it to be profitable to make steel.

The peak winter cost for energy in 2020 was £65 per megawatt hour – but regularly hit £2,000 in the second half of 2021.

Steel union Community says there are an average of only five hours a day when power prices are low enough for it to be profitable to make steel

Steel union Community says there are an average of only five hours a day when power prices are low enough for it to be profitable to make steel

Almost 34,000 people work in Britain’s steel industry. Alasdair McDiarmid, Community’s operations director, said: ‘Unaffordable energy costs are putting the future of our industry at risk.

‘In some cases steel companies have had to stop production.’

Gareth Stace, of industry body UK Steel, called on ministers to cut power prices for producers – as countries such as Germany do.

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