Challenge Accepted: Meeting Future UK Energy Needs through Manufacturing…

An interview with Barrie Salter…

We talked to Barrie Salter, Business Development & Marketing Director, to get his views on Kloeckner’s role in the UK’s diverse Energy sector which covers the Oil and gas, Nuclear, and Renewables industries.

Decommissioning

Currently Kloeckner is committed to supporting the NDA’s decommissioning programme and continues to supply the highest quality metals to ensure nuclear materials are contained effectively. Barrie explains the future of decommissioning in the UK to us:

“The first generation of UK nuclear power stations and early research facilities have left a legacy which must be managed. As a result, the British nuclear decommissioning industry creates more than £1.7 billion of business for Britain. Many people are directly employed in the nuclear sector with more than 10,000 people alone employed on the Sellafield site in Seascale alone. In 2005, the NDA was created to manage the challenges which decommissioning can bring. The NDA is currently managing 18 sites across Britain, all of which are at different stages of decommissioning. In the de-commissioning sector, the use of ferrous and non-ferrous metals is common and is one of the most challenging from a quality and health and safety standard – as you would expect.”

Exploration

Since 2014, the UK’s oil and gas industry has experienced very difficult trading conditions following the collapse of the oil price. After nearly three years of redundancies, closures, company restructuring and a reduction in the manufacturing capacity of the UK supply chain Barrie gives a more hopeful outlook for the future:

“The UK supply chain has, however, taken significant steps to ensure that the industry is in a much healthier state for when the recovery comes – and it will unquestionably recover. In fact, many oil & gas professionals are predicting that things will start improving towards the end of this year with a more healthy recovery expected during 2018-19. The oil and gas sector does consume a large volume of steel – including sections, plate, tubes and engineering steel to name a just a few – therefore its demise and potentially its recovery, is bound to affect the intrinsically linked steel stockholding and processing sector.”

Nuclear

The Nuclear energy sector is viewed as essential to meet the UK’s clean energy needs. Barrie explains to us how together with renewables and energy efficiency, nuclear can reduce carbon emissions:

“As part of a diversified energy mix, safe and reliable electricity for UK homes, hospitals, schools and industries can be provided from nuclear-generated energy. For more than 60 years, nuclear power has provided the UK with electricity and there are eight operating nuclear sites across the country which currently provide 21% of the UK’s electricity. In 2015, nuclear power produced at the highest level for a decade – createng 60.6TWh of electricity. Nuclear is incredibly important to the UK economy with more than 65,000 people directly employed in the nuclear sector in high-skilled jobs all across the UK. There is a need to invest in low-carbon infrastructure in the UK as much of the current electricity generation capacity will close by 2030, including a substantial amount of the UK’s nuclear sites. EDF Energy, Horizon Nuclear Power and NuGeneration are looking to build new nuclear power stations in England and Wales, which are due to be completed in the mid-2020s. The investment in these new build Nuclear power stations is enormous and there are massive opportunities for UK-based steel processors like Kloeckner to support these projects going forward.”

 

Renewables

Wind and Tidal Tidal and wind energy are, of course, another crucial part of balancing the UK’s future energy needs and have a hugely positive environmental impact too. We covered the facts on clean energy and the importance of ensuring sustained investment in these industries for the steel industry in much more detail last week which you can find here. Conclusion Barrie summed up his thoughts for us on meeting future UK energy needs through manufacturing :

“The Energy sector is crucial for the United Kingdom – and as such investment will continue to ensure we have a balanced supply meeting our needs as well as caring for the future of the environment The challenge for the supply chain including steel processing sector is to ensure that we continually invest in systems and product development to meet the rigorous demands of these sectors. Examples include value added processing equipment (Tube Laser), quality systems to protect against counterfeit goods, health and safety culture to ensure we are kept safe, products to reduce strength or improve production efficiencies, digitalisation to streamline procedures and enhance the supply chain experience. The list is endless – but what is sure – UK manufacturing and its supply chain remains at the forefront of producing the Energy required for all of our futures.

 

Click here to find out more about how Kloeckner Metals UK work to meet the requirements of a range of industries, including the energy sector.

 

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