Tata Steel could close one of its two blast furnaces in Port Talbot unless the government comes up with long-term plans to help the industry by summer
Tata Steel could close one of its two blast furnaces in Port Talbot unless the government comes up with long-term plans to help the industry by summer.
The Indian group has told ministers it must provide details of its support by July so it can move forward with a potential multi-billion dollar investment in green steelmaking facilities at the site. of South Wales.
The steelmaker has now said he is ‘concerned’ about the amount of aid currently on offer and that the budget is a missed opportunity for the government to underline its commitment to the industry.
Hot Spot: Tata Steel has warned it may close a blast furnace in Port Talbot
Officials are locked in talks with Tata Steel and British Steel, which operate the country’s only two other blast furnaces, to provide them with £300m each to kick-start investments in green technology.
One of Port Talbot’s blast furnaces is due to close in the next two to three years and Tata must soon decide whether to extend its life, shut it down or replace it with a new electric mill.
Closing it permanently without new technology could mean the loss of thousands of jobs and deliver another hammer blow to already declining British industry.
Energy costs have been a major sticking point for industrial groups, including the steel industry, for years.
Defender: actor Michael Sheen fears for his hometown
A Tata Steel spokesman told the Mail on Sunday: “While we recognize a positive direction of travel through some of the energy measures recently announced, we remain concerned that the measures will not be sufficient to allow our industry To move towards green steelmaking at the pace and scale required, the spring budget was an opportunity for the government to further demonstrate its commitment to supporting a decarbonised and competitive UK steel industry.
Award-winning actor Michael Sheen, who grew up in Port Talbot, told the MoS it was “unthinkable” the area could be put at risk.
“Having grown up in Port Talbot and now returned to live here, I am acutely aware of the importance of the steel industry, not just to our community but to our country as a whole,” he said.
A spokesman for the Department for Business and Trade said it was “committed to ensuring a sustainable and competitive future” for British steel.