Prince Andrew, HRH The Duke of York, the UK’s special representative for International Trade and Business, visits Shotton on 7th April, to tour the manufacturing lines and the photovoltaic accelerator pilot line.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announce a £9.5 million award to an academic and industrial consortium for the development of pre-finished steel products to reduce lighting requirements, support renewable technologies and facilitate water harvesting. Tata will be the lead industrial partner and will collaborate with leading universities to research and publish information about designing energy efficient buildings. The project, known as SPECIFIC, will develop a portfolio of products that will turn buildings into power stations and generate over one third of the UK’s requirement for renewable energy by 2020. It is regarded by Tata Steel as a significant announcement for the development of hi-tech sustainable coated product. ( Source: Tata Steel press release, 12th October 2010).
Sustainable building envelope development
A £7 million Sustainable Building Envelope Centre is being constructed at Shotton in a partnership project with the Low Carbon Research Institute. It is due for completion in February 2011 and the aim is to develop building components and systems based around renewable energy, primarily photovoltaic and solar air technologies, to improve the energy performance of buildings.
Shotton’s product range now includes Colorcoat ® Renew ( High Reflect ) SC, a bespoke liner with maximum reflectivity to reduce energy requirements, associated operational costs and CO 2 emissions. The product is suitable for interior roof and wall liner trays, cassette systems and composite panels in dry and unpolluted environments. It has been developed to use the Colorcoat ® building envelope to harness energy, by adding an additional perforated skin to the roof material. Heat is collected and drawn into the building offering a potential saving of up to 50 per cent on heating costs.
Galvanising and Colorcoat operations at Shotton continue to be profitable. Demand remains at 60-70 per cent. of full manned capacity and the focus now is on out-performing the competition in the supply of branded and premium products. A third of orders are now delivered on a 10 day lead time and the UK market share is currently 70 per cent., a twenty year high.
Other Shotton based operations, Panels and Profiles and Steel Metal Centre, continue to do well despite the recession.
The Corus Living Solutions modular building business, started in 2003 as a pilot development business of Tata Steel UK Limited, is closed down with the loss of some 180 jobs.