Fresh fears for steel-making jobs following speculation over blast furnace replacement

(Title Image: BBC Wales)

Primary steel-making at Port Talbot could end according to speculation that Tata Steel is considering replacing the two existing blast furnaces with electric arc furnaces – which are used to recycle steel and are less labour and energy-intensive.

The Community trade union sought urgent talks with the company saying: “unions will not accept the end of blast furnace steel production at Port Talbot, which would leave the UK unable to make a range of specialist steels. Steel production accounts for half the jobs at Port Talbot and this plan would devastate the town and the community.”

Tata dismissed the news as “unsubstantiated” adding that no decisions have been made.

However, the company is reportedly seeking to reduce carbon emissions from Port Talbot, which would make it eligible for UK Government funding via Project Birch – a bailout programme for strategically-important industries threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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