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Steel giant Tata shuts down one of two blast furnaces at Port Talbot plant

04 Jul 2024 2 minute read
Blast Furnace located at the Port Talbot steelworks

Steel giant Tata has shut down one of two blast furnaces at its biggest plant under its plans to switch to a greener form of production.

The company said it had ceased operations of Blast Furnace 5 in Port Talbot, south Wales, as part of its restructuring programme to stem “unsustainable” losses of over £1 million a day.

The decommissioning of Blast Furnace 5 and associated plant started immediately after the last liquid iron was produced on Thursday. The second blast furnace is due to be shut down in September.


Tata Steel UK’s chief executive Rajesh Nair said: “All those who have been involved in operating and maintaining Blast Furnace 5 since it started operations in 1959 should take a great deal of pride in the part they have played in underpinning the UK manufacturing industry for so many years.

“Our challenge is now to focus on a more sustainable and competitive future for our business that will ensure the continuation of steelmaking in the UK for generations to come.”

Unions are opposed to the plans, which will lead to the loss of around 2,800 jobs, and have been urging Tata to wait until the outcome of the General Election.

Tata said it would make every effort to mitigate the impact of the transformation on affected employees and the local community.

It said it had put forward the most favourable financial package of support it had ever offered, including facilities for training and upskilling, alongside finance for small and medium-sized businesses through the UK Steel Enterprise regeneration and job creation scheme.

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Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
9 days ago

What is proposed is not steel making rather recycling of steel scrap in an electric furnace. The technology to make iron from iron ore using a green technique is not yet fully developed.

S Duggan
S Duggan
9 days ago

The deindustrialization of Cymru continues and, as usual, there will be nothing put in place to mitigate the loss. As a country we’ve been shat upon for far too long, it must end. The only way to end this misery and create a more prosperous country is by becoming independent – the future fully in our own hands.

9 days ago
Reply to  S Duggan

Steel making is an expensive business and developed economies are at a disadvantage in a globalised world. The matter is incredibly complex. I’d refer you to read papers written by world steel. You’ll realise that nationalisation nor independence are necessarily the answer for this problem.

S Duggan
S Duggan
6 days ago
Reply to  Taffy

I don’t disagree with your assessment. However, that doesn’t address why nothing is ever put into place to mitigate the loss of industry in these areas. No new initiatives to help those who have lost jobs. The areas are left to rot and become one of the poorest places in Europe.

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