THE Scottish Government has come under fire for awarding a Chinese firm the contact to supply the steel for the new Forth Bridge.

However, not a single bid came from Scottish steel companies to supply materials for the £790 million Queensferry Crossing.

Transport Scotland confirmed that “no company from Scotland or the UK made a bid for the contract”.

In a statement, it said: “During the procurement for fabricated steel works, no company from Scotland or the UK made a bid for the contract. This would suggest the condition of the market in the UK did not have the capacity to take on an order of this scale.

“A further subcontract for steel fabrication was awarded to Cleveland Bridge (Darlington) – raw steel for this subcontract came from Tata Steel in both Scunthorpe and Motherwell. Contrary to misleading speculation, there were no Scottish bids for FCBC’s steel fabrication subcontracts.

“Tata Steel’s plant in Motherwell manufactures steel plate, it is not a steel fabricator. All of the steel for the south approach viaducts and the twin box sections of the north approach viaduct on the Queensferry Crossing was fabricated by Cleveland Bridge and amounts to over 7,000 tonnes of raw steel.

“The main steel subcontract was placed by FCBC with ZPMC (China) who have the capacity to deliver the necessary quality of steel within the timescale demanded.”

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