Aberavon AM, David Rees, has been reassured about Tata’s long-term commitment following a statement by Tata Steel. Yesterday Tata announced that it may delay relighting the £185 million new blast furnace at its Port Talbot works. However, the company have confirmed that the rebuilding of the No 4 furnace will go ahead as planned. In the Senedd on Tuesday (26-6-12), David Rees AM raised the issue with the First Minister who has, on many occasions, stressed the importance of the company and recognised the huge financial commitment they have made in Wales.

David Rees AM said:
“Tata has made a large financial commitment of almost £240 million to their Port Talbot site and, whilst this delay is disappointing, I have been reassured that the rebuilding of the No 4 furnace will go ahead as planned. I have always been reassured by the good relationship between Tata’s management and the Trade Unions and I am confident that they will work together to find a joint approach to tackle any issues that may arise. ”

“I welcome the commitment from Tata especially in the current economic climate and it is important that both the National Assembly and the Westminster Government to continue working to promote economic growth to ensure that steel making in Wales has the strongest possible future.”

In his question to the First Minister, David Rees also highlighted the disproportionately high energy costs that UK companies are incurring as a result of the carbon tax which has affected their international competitiveness.

The £185 million project to rebuild the furnace will go ahead as planned and preparations are on schedule to start the 125-day project in early July. The concurrent £53 million project to install a new cooling system in the basic Oxygen Steelmaking plant will also go ahead as planned.