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UKEF deal lands £4.5 million Guyana contract for structural steel firm

The export credit agency’s support for overseas infrastructure projects has created major new trading opportunities for UK suppliers like Severfield plc.

  • Based in York and with manufacturing sites across the UK, Severfield secured new supply contracts after UKEF supported a Guyanese hospital build in 2021.
  • Severfield has now shipped 1,900 tonnes of steel to a new hospital being built by VAMED Engineering GmbH in Georgetown, Guyana.
  • UKEF support for overseas infrastructure projects is creating major opportunities for UK suppliers, helping them secure over £1.3 billion in new contracts since 2020.

A deal supported by the UK government’s export credit agency has landed a £4.5 million export contract for structural steel firm Severfield.

Headquartered in York, Severfield has five manufacturing sites in the UK and two in mainland Europe. Severfield operates in a range of sectors including infrastructure, transport, and commercial, working on high-profile projects such as Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 22 Bishopsgate, and London’s tallest building, The Shard.

In 2021, UKEF helped the Guyanese government to finance a new paediatric and maternity hospital by providing a €161 million loan. The export credit agency supported the project on the condition that it involved UK suppliers, subsequently securing this opportunity for Severfield.   

Since securing the contract, Severfield has fabricated steel for this project at its Dalton site in North Yorkshire, where it is a major employer supporting over 500 jobs. The company has now shipped 1,900 tonnes of structural steel to Guyana where it will be used by VAMED Engineering GmbH as it builds the new hospital in the capital, Georgetown.

UKEF’s guarantees and loans help overseas governments and businesses to secure financing for projects involving UK goods and services. The new announcement showcases the way in which this creates multimillion-pound contract opportunities for the domestic supply chain.

Since 2020, UK suppliers have secured over £1.3 billion in new contracts because of infrastructure projects going ahead thanks to UKEF support.

Lord Offord, Minister for Exports, said:

This government is backing the UK steel industry, and this deal, made possible by UK Export Finance, is great news for Severfield which will support hundreds of jobs across the country. Severfield’s story shows that the UK’s steel expertise remains in high demand for ambitious projects around the world, supporting jobs, growth and prosperity.

Rob Evans, Divisional Managing Director of Severfield’s Commercial & Industrial division, said:

Severfield are delighted to be supplying the structural steelwork for the new paediatric and maternity hospital in Guyana. With the invaluable support of UKEF, we are proud to add to our strong and varied history of delivering high quality, fabricated steelwork for use in overseas projects.

Upon completion, the hospital is expected to become a point of referral for high-risk cases from across the country and eventually the Caribbean. It will also work as a teaching hospital – the first institution of its kind available in Guyana.

Jane Miller OBE, British High Commissioner to Guyana, said:

It is great to see another contribution from the UK towards the delivery of this transformational, 256-bed hospital in Georgetown. This is a success which we want to build on, with UK Export Finance now making up to £2 billion available for supporting UK exports to Guyana. This reflects the wealth of opportunities for collaboration available in Guyana’s rapidly growing economy.

This announcement follows the December 2023 publication of the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan, which recognised the role of the manufacturing sector in producing over 40% of the UK’s exports. In the financial year 2022-23, UKEF provided £3.5 billion in new, direct support to the UK’s manufacturing sector in the form of loans, guarantees and insurance.

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