As we all start to get ready for the festivities and 2017 draws to a close, our Special Profiles Managing Director, Peter Gate, reflects on the year’s activities.
As well as having his birthday on Christmas Day, Peter is also celebrating just over a year in his new role!
Peter said: “2017 has been an exciting year for our Special Profiles business as we continue to build a name for British Steel and a sustainable future for steel in the North East of England.
“It’s been an exciting time for us – new owners, reviving the British Steel brand, new management team – lots of changes but great to have a future focus again and a long-term strategy and vision. We’re immensely proud to carry the British Steel name again and our vision is to be renowned for quality and expertise on a global scale.
“A lot of this pride comes from the exciting projects and applications our steel ends up in, such as the £57 billion cargo port currently being built in Shanghai, which is set to be the largest in the world.
“It’s been encouraging to see very positive developments in a number of key markets this year. By the end of 2017, worldwide sales of excavators are expected to have increased substantially compared to last year, thanks to robust growth in Asia, the US and rest of the world. Global mining and equipment markets are seeing sustained recovery and continued growth and, in spite of uncertain and potentially challenging economic times, the UK industrial forklift truck market has nevertheless seen its third successive quarter of growth.
“Our steel continues to play a major role in earth moving, forklift, construction, shipbuilding, ports and mining sectors. And we continue to work closely with you – our customers – to understand your problems and help find solutions that solve them. Whether it’s a bespoke shape, new steel chemistry or offering a different service, we’ll do what we can to try and make it happen.
“We recognise the crucial importance of surface quality and that’s why, in the summer, we installed a £1.9 million state-of-the-art high pressure descaling facility at both furnaces in our Skinningrove mill. This new equipment aims to remove 100% of scale to ensure an enhanced finish on all our products. You can read more in our news article.
“The UK steel industry continues to be in the spotlight and our business has been no exception. In recent months our Skinningrove site has hosted Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and also recently elected Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and the area’s new MP Simon Clarke – both Conservatives. The Labour leader, who was accompanied by Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald, attracted a lot of media attention and complimented us on the quality of our steel and importance of our industry to the local economy.
“While we’ve come a long way in the last 18 months, we’re only just starting out in our journey. There’s a long way to go, and significant challenges to overcome, if we’re to become sustainable.
“On behalf of the Special Profiles team I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your valued custom and loyalty during 2017. I hope you all manage to spend time with family and friends over the festive period and I wish you all the best for a safe, healthy and prosperous 2018.”