HS2 under fire for using imported rebar not approved in UK – .

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HS2 under fire for using imported rebar not approved in UK – .


French manufacturer Sendin supplied pre-assembled steel reinforcement panels for the diaphragm walls forming two of the critical ventilation shafts on the Chiltern Tunnels section of the large project.

It will also deliver other assemblies to the same section over the next few months.

HS2 says the decision was made to use the rebar manufacturer because no other UK supplier could supply the steel needed.

The volume of steel rebar allocated to Sendin is estimated to be less than 5% of the total rebar used on the Align section of the HS2 project.

A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd said: ‘The original supplier of this steel reinforcement was based in the UK, but this supplier was unable to maintain the agreed schedule resulting in delays potential and therefore higher costs for the project.

“Our subcontractor approached all other suitable UK suppliers, but none were able to deliver the necessary product on time.

He said: “French manufacturer Sendin is an internationally renowned supplier to this market which previously held full UK certification and is in the process of re-certification.

“They were able to respond quickly, which kept the project on schedule. HS2 Ltd continues to work with UK Steel to provide updates on opportunities and brokerage relationships between its members and the HS2 supply chain.

But UK manufacturers are complaining that the move conflicts with HS2’s own specifications for the need to use UK CARES approved manufactured reinforcements.

They also fear that the British certification body CARES did not act quickly to control the situation after being alerted in March.

Stephen Elliott, chairman of the British Association of Reinforcement, said there was enough rebar in the UK to meet market demand.

“HS2 is a major British project funded by the British public. It is therefore disappointing that HS2 is not ready to fully support the UK steel industry, ”he said.

“We were hoping that the big UK projects would work with the UK steel industry and not undermine it. “

He added: “Equally disappointing is that despite being alerted to the importation of unapproved reinforcements, UK Cares has yet to make a formal public statement.

“You have to see CARES control your own project, if it wants to prevent another major project from following the same path.

Elliott added, “But nine months later since CARES was first alerted, such retrospective approval is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has locked itself. “

The manufacturer Sendin is certified in accordance with the French certification scheme for AFCAB steel reinforcements.

But its competitors claim that it does not hold UK approval for cutting and bending rebar and rebar, as the French standard does not meet the requirements of BS 4449, especially with regard to the specified fatigue properties.

It also does not hold UK approval for the application of the specified TA1-A reinforcement couplers.

UK Steel trade body chief executive Gareth Stace said: “It is extremely disappointing to see HS2 fail here to take the most basic step of using steel made to British standards.

“Such a practice is practically universal in the UK construction industry, HS2 should have done almost everything possible not to use British Standard steel.

“In doing so, HS2 missed a vital opportunity to support jobs and economic growth in the UK by spending taxpayers’ money. “

A UK CARES spokesperson said: “CARES continues to work closely with all of its clients, especially those engaged in large public sector infrastructure projects where safety, quality and sustainability standards are paramount. .

“These customers recognize that CARES certification is only achieved through robust and fully independent assurance processes that operate in a dynamic global steel supply chain.

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