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What a ‘steel’ – how our projects are giving you better value 

We’re doing everything we can to give taxpayers greater value, like with our bulk buy of steel in Scotland.

We understand the need to reduce our carbon emissions across Britain. Our colleagues in Scotland are aiming to decarbonise train services by 2035, 15 years ahead of the rest of Britain. To achieve this, we need to replace diesel trains with electric ones and electrify the railway.

That’s why we decided to buy steel in bulk in order to produce the steel structures needed for electrification. They include piles, supports, overhead line gantries and wires.

Anglia overhead wire renewals on great eastern main line

A good deal

Our teams realised that the price of steel was rising due to covid, so we had to act fast.  

Our supply chain team worked with the supply chain and negotiated a bulk purchase of materials to benefit from economies of scale. We worked with 13 different suppliers, covering everything required from the main steel work, to nuts and bolts.  

We bought the steel at £1,400 per tonne. Had we delayed and purchased at today’s prices, we’d have been hit with a bill of £2,000 per tonne. This brought a saving of more than £4m.

Helping the local economy

We provided steel manufacturer Lundy Projects with £3.9m worth of work with us. This has given the company more stability for the future so it can invest in its business, new technology and people. In fact, it’s already started taking on new apprentices.  

Electrifying Scotland’s railway is a big job so many of our other suppliers have set up extra sites and offices in Scotland to support the project. This will provide more jobs for local people.  

Birds eye view of Edinburgh Waverley station

A greener Scotland by 2035

  • £14m invested for first phase of electrification
  • Bulk-purchase saved £4m
  • Purchase price £1,400 per tonne 
  • Price avoided £2,000 per tonne 
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