MORE than 100,000 tonnes of steel will be needed for public sector building and infrastructure projects in Wales over the next seven years, a report has said.

The study commissioned by the Welsh Government has found 140,000 tonnes of steel will be needed between 2017 and 2023 to complete projects such as the proposed M4 relief road and Newport’s new Welsh-language secondary school.

The report has been published as the future of the industry in Wales continues to hang in the balance, with Tata Steel, which owns plants in Llanwern, Caerphilly, Port Talbot and elsewhere, still intending to sell its entire UK operation, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The report, which is available at, said: “The strategic importance of the steel sector to Wales as a major employer and supplier of steel products is well documented and reiterated across the political arena, businesses, employees and the general public.”

It also estimates the UK could produce 1.4m tonnes of steel a year.

Wales’ finance secretary Mark Drakeford said: “As a government, we are committed to doing everything we can to secure a long-term and sustainable steel industry here in Wales.

“The forecast demand for our future steel needs of our infrastructure and construction projects is set out in the report and will be updated every year.

“It gives Welsh and UK steel suppliers the confidence and evidence there is demand for their product from the public sector in Wales.

“It also gives an in-depth forecast of the volume and type of steel we need for future crucial road and rail developments, new hospitals and our 21st Century Schools programme.

“It is yet a further indication of our commitment to provide a co-ordinate package of support for Welsh steel suppliers in the face of global pressures.”

The report makes a series of recommendations including updating the figures at least once a year, requiring briefings and support from Business Wales when projects are valued at more than £1m and promoting the use of UK-produced steel as well as identifying and taking advantage of where steel is needed.