UK steelsuppliers play a fundamental role in several areas of British industry,according to a presentation given at the recent biennial launch dinner ofindustry representative body UK Steel, held on September 12th.

Jon Bolton,chairman of UK Steel, delivered a speech that acknowledged the obstacles facingUK steel suppliers at present, such as government charges aimed at reducingunnecessary energy consumption, which can have punitive effects onenergy-intensive industries.

But he alsopointed out the positives, such as the continued robustness of some specialistparts of the sector, in which UK steel suppliers provide the particular typesof materials needed by certain end-user industries in their own finishedproducts.

Mr Bolton said:”We are the foundation for so many critical sectors for the UK -automotive, construction and energy, to name just three – both domestically,and through exports, where we contribute positively to the country’s balance ofpayments.”

Drawingparallels with a land speed record attempt, he stressed that a level road isneeded – with confidence that no bumps and pitfalls await, allowing theindustry to build and maintain its momentum in the years to come.