Local MS responds to announcement from TATA on separation of its UK & Dutch operations

Today, Tata Steel have announced that they are in the process of separating its two components of its European operations, Tata Steel UK and Tata Steel Netherlands, and are in discussions with Swedish steelmaker SSAB for the sale of the assets of Tata Steel Netherlands.  This would leave Tata Steel UK, which includes the steel works at Port Talbot, as a separate business still under the ownership of Tata India but becoming a self-sustaining operation.

 

Aberavon’s Member of the Senedd, David Rees, has expressed concern over the implications for the Port Talbot works as a result of this decision and is calling upon both Tata and the UK government to strive towards a sustainable future for steel making at Port Talbot and to invest in Research & Development to make the site world leading in decarbonising steel making.

 

Mr Rees said, “Once again our steelworkers are facing challenging times following this news.  Almost 5 years ago they and their families went through hell as their livelihoods came under threat with the then announcement of a proposed sale of the Tata steel plants in Wales.  Today, those concerns have been resurrected with the announcement that TATA Steel Europe is likely to be split with the Dutch components being sold to Swedish steelmaker SSAB leaving the UK element to stand alone. This undoubtedly creates concern as to the future of Tata Steel UK but the future can be bright if both Tata and the UK government can reach a solution that makes British steel making world leading in a decarbonised industry.

 

He added “I believe this announcement provides an opportunity for the UK following its departure from the EU but it is now time for the government in Westminster to take positive steps to establish a strong and sustainable steel industry for the whole of the UK.  Along with the steel trade unions, I have called for more use of British steel in UK projects and a UK government stake in the steel industry can make that message a reality.  I urge the Prime Minister to invest in our steel sector, address the energy costs we face and make steelmaking a keystone of our manufacturing future in the UK.

 

“Steelworkers in Port Talbot and throughout Wales have risen to the challenges before and I know they will do so once again. ”