London: Chief Executive of Tata Steel Europe, Karl-Ulrich Köhler has demanded the steel industry, the foundation of many manufacturing supply chains in the United Kingdom, to be a “viable part of greater growth”, as the country struggles to exit the worst recession for decades.
Köhler said that the UK Government needs to take action to ‘boost competitiveness’ and give Britain a level playing field against the rest of Europe in terms of regulation and energy costs.
“We are asking the Government for support. We do not need more obstacles but a level playing field,” the Daily Express quoted Köhler, as saying.
“British manufacturing is facing significant disadvantages compared with its competitors such as the rise in energy costs resulting from green energy levies such as renewable obligations and challenges such as business rates,” he added.
Tata Steel which bought Corus, formerly British Steel, in 2007, and is Europe’s second-largest steelmaker by capacity after steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s ArcelorMittal, announced a 240 million pound investment in the UK, including a 185 million pound plan to rebuild a blast furnace in Port Talbot, South Wales.
Köhler believes that the UK needs a “strategic industrial policy” to help repair the fractured supply chain and “retain value” in the country. “Otherwise erosion will go on over time,” he warned.
First Published: Monday, July 30, 2012, 16:25