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Tata ‘threaten to close down’ Port Talbot steelworks without £1.5bn of UK Government help to reduce carbon emissions

21 Jul 2022 2 minute read
Picture by Matt Jones (CC BY 2.0)

Tata Group have “threatened to close down” Port Talbot steelworks without £1.5bn of UK Government of subsidies to reduce carbon emissions.

The company, which employs thousands of people in the Port Talbot area, told the Financial Times that they would only be able to continue with the government’s help.

7,890 people are employed by the steelworks in the town of 37,276. The steelworks produced 3.5m tonnes of liquid steel in the year to the end of March.

“A transition to a greener steel plant is the intention that we have . . . But this is only possible with financial help from the government,” Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chair of Tata Group, told the newspaper.

“We have been in discussions over the last two years and we should come to an agreement within 12 months. Without this, we will have to look at closures of sites,” he said.

The UK government said: “Steel plays a critical role in all areas of the UK economy and Tata is a valued steel producer and significant employer in the UK.”

‘Discussions’

According to the Financial Times, Tata Group would need to build two new electric arc furnaces and decommission the present blast furnaces to cut down on carbon emissions at a cost of £3bn, half of which would need to come from the UK Government.

Port Talbot is one of two sites, alongside the British Steel site at Scunthorpe, where the vast majority of the UK’s steel is made.

Yesterday it was revealed that Tata had made its first pre-tax profit in 13 years thanks to record steel prices and a recovery in demand across Europe as pandemic restrictions eased.

The company reported a pre-tax profit of £82m in the year to the end of March, after recorded an increase in revenues of 58% year on year, from £1.97bn to £3.1bn.

“This improvement is attributable to the recovery of the European steel market from the weakened market conditions caused by Covid-19 pandemic the previous year,” the company said as it announced the results.

But the company also warned that it needed UK Government support in order for its steel business to remain viable.

“TSUK continues to have discussions with the UK government to seek support for the transition to low-carbon steel-making, which is a vital part of securing a long-term sustainable future for the business,” they said.


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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
4 months ago

Will utterly kill our town!!! 🙁

RJA
RJA
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Poet Talbot – The New Ebbw Vale coming to a seafront near you………. nothing short of major disaster for the town and surrounding businesses and 15,000 contractors that rely on its operations running daily

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

I used to do a bit of work at the steelworks. Tata shutting would be a short term disaster, but I always felt it could be a long term blessing if planned right. That site is about 1 mile wide x 3 miles long. Prime, beautiful coastline sitting in Swansea bay right next to a national park and SSSI easily accessible from the M4, overlooked by beautiful and dramatic hillsides, castles, Margam Park and at the mouth of the stunning Neath Valley, gateway to the Beacons. Imagine if it was developed with care and thought for the future, with the… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by One of the two witnesses
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

Do we seriously think whoever takes over from Boris Johnson as PM, be it Rishy Sunak or Liz Truss as will give £1.5 billion to Tata to secure Port Talbot’s future and thousands of jobs in the wider South Wales area. Doubtful. Remember it’s not a Conservative red wall seat having voted Labour MP Simon Kinnock into office last election. Worrying times ahead for the workforce and their families.

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
james stevenson
james stevenson
4 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

25 years of Welsh Labour government and zero improvement in business investment in wales, no long term planning and a penchant for welfare projects, 20mph speed restrictions and many more. I suggest you look at our government and not Westminster. Tribalism serves none and it’s our biggest hook that holds us Welsh back. Stop blaming others and look at ourselves. We are our own worst enemy

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
4 months ago

There will be huge celebrations across the environmentalist community whenever it closes. We will then have to rely even more on imported steel, which will further upset the Greens as they will moan about carbon footprints. The campaign to get rid of our steelworkers (and our farmers) is intensifying.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
4 months ago
Reply to  Julie Jones

Tata steel goes to the car industry. Who of us buys new British made cars these days? Cars increasingly (especially EVs) need a fraction of the steel used in traditional cars. they use less metal after all, and without ICEs driving them, less of what remains needs to be steel.
The job losses concern me. But so do the recently very obvious impacts of climate change from pollution. This is nothing to do with invented campaigns to get rid of anyone

stephen mahoney
stephen mahoney
4 months ago

How about an equity swap? The government stump half the 1.5 billion requested by Tata to reduce emissions on condition part ownership of a strategically important industry is handed over to the state. Everyone benefits, there’s undoubtedly the potential for returns to be made at PT for Tata and the country gets a guarantee it’s long term capacity in steel manufacturing is assured.

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago

Ownership or part ownership instead of handouts is logical especially in a large scale situation like this. But globalist corporates want the penny and the bun and our governments fall for it every time.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
4 months ago

I don’t want any business in Cymru part owned by Westminster. Nobody in Cymru benefits from this. I’d rather a private buyer than HMG Westminster. Ideally Senedd owned, but they don’t have that kind of money flying around since Westminster stole so much of our funding

Ap Kenneth
4 months ago

Electric Arc furnaces seem to be great at recycling scrap iron/steel but are not used in the making of new iron from ore (?) but Sweden is powering ahead developing hydrogen to replace coal in blast furnaces. Should that not be where any investment in new technology should go?

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
4 months ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

Broadly, but recycled metal is used in new steel production. It starts off the reaction. Lots for crushed cars stacked up in the works. (Check it out in the stockpiles area on Google maps / Google Earth)

David
David
4 months ago

Do you remember Adam Price and the Mittal affair in 2002. Then after returning from the USA “studies” a mild Adam returned.

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