Tata Steel secures Port Talbot future
The UK Government and Tata Steel have today agreed a joint investment package to build an Electric Arc Furnace at Port Talbot.
Tata Steel is expected to invest £1.25bln, which includes a UK Government grant worth up to £500mln - one of the largest government support packages in history.
The metals manufacturer says that the deal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, information and consultation processes, and the finalisation of detailed terms and conditions.
An Electric Arc Furnace will be built at Port Talbot for 'greener steel' production, which is currently the UK's largest single carbon emitter.
This replaces the existing coal-powered blast furnaces which are nearing end-of-life and reduce the UK's carbon emissions by around 1.5% as a result.
Tata Steel UK employs more than 8,000 people across the UK, and the government say that the new package has the potential to safeguard more than 5,000 of those jobs.
'It is right that we are ready to step in to protect this world-class manufacturing industry and to support a green growth hub in South Wales,' says Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
Roy Rickhuss General Secretary of Community Union, the steelworkers’ union is not so impressed, saying, 'An Electric Arc Furnace-only approach is short-sighted, undermines the integrity of our industry and comes at the expense of our steelworkers. It would make us extremely exposed to the price and availability of steel scrap, and risks Britain’s economic security by making British steelmaking reliant on imports of virgin steel and steel in imported goods.'