The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said 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 us Welsh steel and is expected to save thousands of jobs in the long term,” said UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch.
“This is an historic support package from the UK Government and will not only protect skilled jobs in Wales, but also grow the UK economy, boost growth and help ensure a successful UK steel industry,” she said.
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 agreement with the British government is a defining moment for the future of the steel industry and indeed the industrial value chain in Britain,” said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Group, who worked with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. led the government in developing a ‘transition pathway’ for sustainable steel production in 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 .
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. An electric arc furnace uses electric current to melt scrap metal or iron and produce steel, while blast furnaces use coke, a carbon-intensive fuel made from coal to produce steel.
“This proposal is a milestone in sustaining ongoing UK steel production – supporting sustainable economic growth, cutting emissions and creating green jobs. It is right that we are prepared to intervene to protect this world-class manufacturing industry and support green growth. hub in South Wales,” said British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
Tata Steel UK will now inform and consult staff and unions on the agreed proposals, with unions fearing thousands of job losses.
“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,” said Community steelworkers, among others. concerned about the arrangements.
Stefan KinnockThe opposition Labor MP for Aberavon, who covers Port Talbot, said the investment in decarbonisation 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 to support the 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 .