Steel firm agrees final settlement on Cheesegrater skyscraper bolt problems

North Yorkshire-based structural steel firm Severfield has agreed a final settlement over the problems relating to the Cheesgrater project in London, which required remedial work when bolts started shearing off shortly after the building was opened.

In a trading statement today, the group said that following “extensive negotiations with all stakeholders”, it has now agreed a final settlement for the remedial bolt replacement works at Leadenhall, resulting in no further costs for the group.

Huge bolts began falling off the 238m-high skyscraper in November 2014, just months after the building opened. Tests found that bolts were fracturing due to hydrogen embrittlement, a material failure mechanism within the bolt material.

The remedial costs relating to the building cost Severfield £6m in non-underlying, one-off charges.

Meanwhile, updating on current trading, the group said its overall trading performance continues to be in line with management’s expectations.

Year-end net funds were approximately £25m (31 March 2018: £33m) while the order book was £274m as at 1 April 2019 (1 November 2018: £230m) and continues to include a high proportion of smaller, lower risk projects which typically have shorter lead times, the company said.

The order book also includes the first orders secured by its new European business venture, based in the Netherlands.

The group added that the expansion of its Bellary facility is now underway and is expected to be completed towards the end of the 2020 financial year.