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The economic output of the steel industry sector totals £2.4 billion, 0.1% of the UK economy and 1.2% of manufacturing output. The steel industry supported 39,000 jobs in Great Britain in 2021.

Steel is an energy intensive industry which has seen energy costs increase significantly recently, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The industry was facing challenges prior to the recent increase in energy costs. A combination of fierce international competition and high domestic costs has made many UK steel plants struggle to be competitive in a global market. UK Steel – an industry body – says that “long-standing uncompetitive electricity prices having constrained UK investment and steel production for some time.”

Decarbonisation of the steel industry is an important part of reaching the Government’s target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050. The steel industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for 14.2% of greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and 2.4% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions.

This briefing pack provides background information on the UK steel industry’s economic output and employment. It includes information on the challenges faced by the industry and Government support for the sector on electricity costs and decarbonisation.

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