November 28, 2005

New council will work for steel industry sustainability

The Canadian Steel Partnership Council (CSPC) held its inaugural meeting in Ottawa on November 22, as part of a new partnership initiative aimed at addressing the global competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian steel industry. More than 30 stakeholders attended the meeting, including relevant federal and provincial government ministers and senior officials, steel industry executives, major steel customers from various sectors such as the automotive, construction and pipeline industries, labour and the academic community.

"Today's meeting marks an important beginning for the development of a long-term strategy to leverage innovation in steelmaking and increase the competitive advantage of Canada's steel industry within the context of a challenging global market," said Ipsco president and CEO David Sutherland, who will serve as the new Council's co-chair. "Through this new consultative partnership with all levels of government and key stakeholders, we are confident we can strengthen our industry's contribution to the Canadian economy, develop even more highly-skilled people and ensure sustainability through environmental stewardship," he added.

The CSPC is made up of various working groups, each with a specific focus. One of the groups will concentrate on energy and the environment, working to improve efficiency and environmental performance as well as access to supplies of raw materials and energy.

An innovation, research and development group will drive customer-focused steel sector innovation through new technologies, the creative commercialization of new ideas, new product innovations and product applications.

Other working groups will address human resources opportunities, market development, international trends and developments, and investment and access to capital.

The CSPC was created by the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), whose 17 member facilities account for 100% of Canada's steel production. The CSPA will serve as secretariat to the Council.

The Canadian steel industry supports more than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide and generates more than $3-billion in exports. Some $9-billion in steel-related goods and services are purchased each year in Canada. Over the last decade, the industry has invested $4.7-billion in innovative steel-producing technologies to improve both process efficiency and environmental performance.

"With the active involvement of all parties, we can help to ensure a prosperous, environmentally sustainable steel industry that is competitive with steelmakers anywhere in the world," federal Industry Minister David Emerson commented.

More information is available from CSPA president Barry Lacombe, 613/238-6049, E-mail b.lacombe@canadiansteel.ca, or from Andrew Sloan at Dofasco, 905/979-6093, E-mail andrew_sloan@dofasco.ca.

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