Hs2 slammed for using French rebar

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The HS2 project has been challenged for using steel reinforcement from a non-UK approved French fabricator Sendin.

A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd Commented saying that: “The original supplier of this steel reinforcement was UK-based, however this supplier was unable to maintain the agreed programme – forcing potential delays and therefore higher costs on the project.

“Our contractor approached all suitable alternative UK suppliers, but none could provide the necessary product in time.

He said: “The French fabricator Sendin is an internationally renowned supplier in this market that had previously held full UK certification and is in the process of being re-certified.

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

Steel fabricated and supplied by French
Steel fabricated and supplied by French

The pre-assembled steel reinforcement panels for the diaphragm walls forming two of the critical ventilation shafts on the Chiltern Tunnels section of the vast project on HS2.

Sendin will also deliver further assemblies to the same section over the coming months due to shortages and procurement issues with UK suppliers after claims from HS2 that the decision was taken to use the rebar fabricator because no other UK supplier could provide the necessary steel.

UK CARES has been appealed by the use of steel and fabricators outside of the UK with the approved fabricated reinforcement going to Sendin.

There is also concern that the CARES UK certification body failed to act promptly to police the situation after being alerted back in March.

A spokesman Stephen Elliott, Chairman of the British Association of Reinforcement, said there was ample UK rebar to supply demand in the market and commented saying that:“HS2 is a major UK project being paid for by the UK public. It is, therefore, disappointing that HS2 is not ready to fully support the UK steel industry,” he said.

“We had hoped that UK major projects will work with, and not undermine, the UK steel industry.”

He continued: “Of equal disappointment is that, despite being alerted to the importation of non-approved reinforcement, UK Cares has yet to make a formal public statement.

“CARES must been seen to police its own scheme, if it wants to stop another major project going down the same route.

Elliott added: “But nine months on since the CARES was first alerted such retrospective approval is rather like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.”

The volume of steel rebar awarded to Sendin is estimated at less than 5% of the total rebar used on Align’s section of the HS2 project