The government subsidy is considered one of the largest British government bailout packages in history and a “defining moment” for the country’s steel industry.
As part of the agreement, the Indian steel giant is expected to invest £1.25 billion, including the government grant, in a new electric arc furnace and related facilities for greener steel production in Port Talbot. South Walescurrently Britain’s biggest carbon emitter.
“This investment will modernize the UK steel industry and secure a more sustainable future.
“It will also protect thousands of skilled jobs in the long term and help the economy grow,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a post on social media platform X.
Tata Steel UK employs more than 8,000 people, including in Port Talbot, which was seriously threatened without substantial investment. The company also supports approximately 12,500 additional jobs in the upstream supply chain.
The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said on Friday that the proposal, which is subject to information and consultation processes led by Tata Steel, has the potential to secure more than 5,000 jobs in Britain.
“The UK Government supports our steel sector, and this proposal will secure a sustainable future for Welsh steel and is expected to save thousands of jobs in the long term,” said UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch.
She said this is a historic support package from the UK Government and will not only protect skilled jobs in Wales, but also “grow the UK economy, stimulate growth and help ensure a successful UK steel industry”.
Tata Steel and the UK Government have announced a joint agreement on a proposal to invest in state-of-the-art electric arc furnace steelmaking at its Port Talbot site, with a capital cost of £1.25 billion, including a government grant of up to 500 million pounds, the company said in a statement.
The new electric furnace is expected to replace existing coal-fired blast furnaces, which are approaching the end of their effective life, and as a result reduce the UK’s overall CO2 emissions by around 1.5 percent.
The proposal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, information and consultation processes and the finalization of detailed terms and conditions.
“The agreement with the UK government is a defining moment for the future of the steel industry and indeed the industrial value chain in the UK,” said Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran, who has been working with the government to develop a “transition path” . for sustainable steel production in Great Britain.
“The proposed investment will safeguard significant employment and provides a great opportunity for the development of a green technology-based industrial ecosystem in South Wales. We look forward to working responsibly with our stakeholders on these proposals,” he said .
Tata Steel’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director TV Narendran said the proposed project with one of the largest investments in the UK steel industry in recent decades offers an opportunity for an optimal outcome for all stakeholders.
“We will engage in meaningful consultation with the unions on the proposed transition path in the context of future risks and opportunities for Tata Steel UK,” Narendran said.
British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the proposal is a milestone in sustaining ongoing UK steel production – supporting sustainable economic growth, cutting emissions and creating green jobs.
Tata Steel UK will now inform and consult staff and unions on the agreed proposals.
“The unions should have been at the table throughout this process because it is clear that the interests of the workforce have not been taken into account in the rush to sign an agreement to cheaply reduce carbon emissions,” say the Community steelworkers. those concerned about the arrangements said.
Stephen Kinnock, opposition Labor MP for Aberavon, which includes Port Talbot, said the investment to decarbonise was long overdue but he was concerned ministers had not “adequately consulted” steel unions ”.
The UK government said it would also ensure support for all staff affected by the transition, working with the Welsh Devolved Government and Tata Steel to establish a dedicated transition council to support both affected workers and support local economy with funding of up to £100 million.
“Steel production remains a vital part of the Welsh economy and this huge support package from the UK Government ensures that the industry now has a bright future, befitting its long and proud history in South Wales,” said Welsh Secretary David TC Davies .