- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
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Mike Hedges MS welcomes news that Welsh Government is supporting Welsh Steel Making following concerns regarding the long term future of Tata Steel Port Talbot Works.
Speaking from his Morriston Office, local Swansea East MS, Mike Hedges said.. ‘This is a worrying time for people with an interest in the Welsh Steel industry, and for those working in it. It is a topic close to my heart as a former British Steel Employee at Port Talbot myself.
I welcome the Welsh Government statement that they support a low carbon future for the Welsh Steel industry and particular the plant at Port Talbot.
Many of my constituents work in the plant or within the local supply chain and I know how worried they are about the plants future. I urge all parties to get around the table and secure the future of this vital component of the South West Wales economy.’
The Financial Times reported that Tata would consider closing its sites if a deal is not done in the next 12 months.
Tata Group owns the UK’s biggest steelworks, in Port Talbot, which employs 4,000 people.
Its chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran told the FT a transition to a “greener steel plant” is “only possible with financial help from the government”.
“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.”
The report said Tata wants to close two blast furnaces at Port Talbot and build two electric arc furnaces that will be less carbon intensive, at a cost of around £3bn.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our focus continues to be to explore all avenues to secure a successful, low carbon future for Welsh steel. This goal is entirely possible, but it requires action and grip from the UK Government.
“We have repeatedly called on UK Ministers to urgently bring forward a package of support to secure steel-making at Port Talbot. Welsh Government officials are today engaging with the company, UK Government and trades unions to seek an urgent resolution.
“The steel industry – and its highly skilled, dedicated workforce – is a crucial cornerstone to our economy and its future is essential to our prosperity and security.
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