Tata Steel confirms plans to close blast furnaces at South Wales plant


Tata Steel confirms plans to close blast furnaces at South Wales plant

About 3,000 jobs are to be axed

Tata Steel has confirmed plans to close blast furnaces at its plant in Port Talbot, South Wales, with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs.

About 2,800 jobs will go over the next 18 months, with a further 300 to be lost.

Tata said in a statement: “Tata Steel today announced it will commence statutory consultation as part of its plan to transform and restructure its UK business.

“This plan is intended to reverse more than a decade of losses and transition from the legacy blast furnaces to a more sustainable, green steel business.

“The transformation would secure most of Tata Steel UK’s existing product capability and maintain the country’s self-sufficiency in steelmaking, while also reducing Tata Steel UK’s CO2 emissions by five million tonnes per year and overall UK country emissions by about 1.5%.”

Under the plans, Port Talbot’s two high-emission blast furnaces and coke ovens will close in a phased manner, with the first blast furnace closing about mid-2024 and the remaining heavy end assets winding down during the second half of this year.

The proposal also includes a wider restructuring of other locations and functions across the company, including the intended closure of its continuous annealing processing line (CAPL) in March 2025.

After talks with unions, Tata said it has agreed to continue to operate Port Talbot’s hot strip mill through the proposed transition period and in future.

Tata Steel said it will embark on a £1.25 billion investment in electric arc furnace technology in Port Talbot and asset upgrades, to secure long-term, high-quality production.

The proposed investment is supported by the UK Government, which has committed up to £500 million to enable the transformation.

Tata Steel plans to invest £750 million in the project, alongside funding for a “comprehensive support package” for affected employees, business restructuring and transition costs, as part of its long-term commitment to UK production.

Tata said its plans are subject to consultation but could be expected to result in up to 2,800 potential job losses across the business, out of which about 2,500 roles could be affected during the next 18 months.

Tata Steel expects that a further 300 roles could be affected in three years, which could include the potential consolidation and rationalisation of cold rolling assets in Llanwern once the required investments are completed at Port Talbot.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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