Projects and Features
Construction partner achieving net zero aims
Barrett Steel has continuously invested in best-in-class service for its customers by acquiring the latest processing technologies and thereby strengthening its position as the UK’s leading steel stockholder.
Long-established, as a pivotal partner to the construction industry, Barrett Steel is a 6th generation family business that has always prided itself on being a versatile steel stockholder, ever since the business began with Henry Barrett in Bradford back in 1866.
This year, has seen an exciting period of growth for the business with the building of a new 18,500m² dedicated distribution centre at Groveport in Scunthorpe.
An exciting element of the construction of the new Barrett Steel Distribution Centre is the fact that it is the first building in the UK to be constructed with XCarb steel supplied by ArcelorMittal.
XCarb is recycled and renewably produced (R&RP) with an upfront carbon (A1-A3) of 333 kgCO₂e/t. The XCarb steel used on the project is made using 100% recycled content and 100% renewable energy.
The newly constructed facility utilises 650t of XCarb steel for its frame, giving an embodied carbon of 216.45t CO₂e, which compared to blast furnace produced material offers an estimated 1408.55t CO₂ saving.
In addition to this, the centre has also been optimised for future installation of photovoltaic panels, as well as the lighting in the warehouse utilising energy efficient LED luminaires. Once stocked, the new distribution hub will hold 20,000 tonnes of structural steel, taking Barrett’s stock holding at the Groveport site to over 50,000 tonnes of steel that can be easily accessed and distributed across the UK.
Guy Barrett, Group Purchasing Director says: “This new facility will increase our capacity and ability to offer a just-in-time solution for steel fabricators across the UK.
“Being able to deliver the project using a low embodied carbon structural steel frame, the first of its kind in the UK, not only demonstrates our commitment to our own net zero goals but also showcases a tangible solution to the questions being raised by clients and contractors in the industry.”
Barrett Steel were the first steel stockholder in the UK to join The Climate Group’s #SteelZero initiative, and in doing this joined key steel industry partners in a commitment to procure 100% net zero steel by 2050.
In addition to this, the group also announced its strategy to be a net zero carbon business by 2035. The building of the Groveport site in XCarb highlights the Group’s commitment to the environment and its net zero carbon goals.
These goals can be seen in action across the business, from the complete transfer to LED lighting, and the sustained investment in an electric material handling fleet with the aim of being 100% electric by 2030.
In addition to the new facility in Scunthorpe, this year has also seen Barrett Steel Shoreham (Barrett Steel’s own dedicated port facility) grow its stock holding to a minimum of 15,000 tonnes. While in the north of the UK, the new Barrett Steel Processing Centre at Scunthorpe (previously Omega) now carries an additional 2,500 tonnes of stock on site for a reactive 24/48 hour processed steel service. Combined, these locations now offer unrivalled quick turnaround service and stock availability to support the construction industry across the UK market.
Barrett Steel’s central processing and distribution hubs were not the only areas to see substantial investment in 2022. Both the Newbridge site (Barrett Steel Scotland) and the Dartford site near London (Barrett Steel Dartford) have seen investment in two new structural saw lines this year.
Its historic Bradford headquarters has also seen substantial upgrades this year with the installation of a new fully automated shot blast and preservation line that features a Ficep Valiant Saw Drill Line and a K115 Auto CNC Band Saw Line. This line was part of a recent £3M investment to complement existing cut/drill lines and processing facilities within the group.
For more than 20 years, Barrett Steel has been using 2D and 3D software to process parts for the construction sector and the company is now utilising this experience to advise on larger, heavier, and more challenging fabrication projects, thanks to continued investment.
Barrett Steel’s dedicated plate profiling centre has increased its capacity by 50% this year alone, while the Centre of Processing Excellence for tubular products in Dudley (Barrett Steel Tubes) has also expanded its 3D processed offering with the additions of an LT8 as well as LT7 Fibre Laser that will be installed by the end of the year.
Group Managing Director James Barrett comments: “Over 150 years of working hand-in-hand with the construction industry has enabled us to be in tune with the challenges our customers are facing daily.
“At Barrett Steel, we work seamlessly with our customers to not only ensure stock availability at short notice but to ensure, where we can, that our investments in advanced processing can assist our customers to hit ever tightened and constrained schedules.”
The experience entwined in the Barrett Steel operation means not only does the group have the scope to supply a wide variety of stock and processed products, but additionally its long-established supply chain relationships pass on an enormous number of benefits to customers.
Whether it’s sourcing different types of stock, such as non-standard specification material, or by reducing costs for end-users thanks to its single-source operation, its supply chain allows reduction in costs and transport requirements across the board.
This level of knowledge and understanding of the sectors they are servicing allows Barrett Steel to not only create tailored solution-based offerings to assist its customers with the ever-changing challenges they face, but backs that up with the investment in stock, transport and the processing capabilities required to cater perfectly to the construction industry for many generations to come.
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