Monday 22 January 2024

Tata Steel confirms closure of two blast furnaces at Port Talbot

Tata Steel confirms closure of two blast furnaces at Port Talbot

Tata Steel has officially announced the closure of two blast furnaces at its Port Talbot facility as part of a broader restructuring plan.

The company said the move is a significant aspect of its transformation strategy to shift towards a more sustainable, green steel business model.

The restructuring is expected to result in up to 2,800 potential job losses, impacting around 2,500 roles within the next 18 months.

Tata Steel emphasises a commitment to maximising voluntary redundancies and proposes a comprehensive support package, exceeding £130 million, for affected employees, covering redundancy terms, community programmes, skills training and job-seeking initiatives.

The company's restructuring plan includes a £1.25 billion investment in Electric Arc Furnace technology at Port Talbot, with support from the UK Government committing up to £500 million.

The transition is contingent upon consultation and Tata Steel plans to initiate a formal information-sharing and consultation process with employees and their representatives.

Community General Secretary Roy Rickhuss said: "Tata's announcement today is unacceptable. The decision to plough ahead with the bad deal for steel first announced in September would be devastating for Port Talbot and the wider steel industry, with Britain's primary steelmaking capacity decimated and carbon emissions offshored to heavy polluting countries.

"It doesn't have to be this way, and our credible Multi-Union Plan lays out a better path to protect jobs, the economy and our environment. In yesterday’s meeting senior officials from Tata acknowledged that our plan was serious and deliverable, but they would not commit to the additional funding required to make it a reality.

"They must reconsider, and the UK Government must do much more to deliver the funding to retain our strategic steelmaking capability within the UK. The Labour Party has committed themselves to do this, should they win the general election this year, and it is beyond belief that Tata is ploughing on with their decarbonisation on the cheap plan with these assurances."

Written by

Sumit Bose

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