Tata Steel to shut coke ovens unit in Wales

Tata Steel UK will increase imports of coke to offset the impact of the coke oven closures, the company said…reports Asian Lite News

Tata Steel on March 18 informed the bourses that its UK unit has decided to cease operations of the coke ovens at the Port Talbot plant in Wales, following a deterioration of operational stability. Tata Steel had previously stated that many of its heavy-end assets in Port Talbot are at their end-of-life capability.

Tata Steel UK will increase imports of coke to offset the impact of the coke oven closures, the company said.

Earlier this year, Tata Steel said that it is currently losing around 1 million pounds a day from its operations in the town and keeping a blast furnace open on the site and making steel from scratch would lead to a further loss of 600 million pounds.

The steelmaker is currently at an advanced stage of consultations with trade unions in the UK on its proposal for the planned restructuring involving the closure of the iron and steelmaking assets at Port Talbot, and subsequent transition to sustainable low-CO2 steelmaking involving a £1.25 billion investment in Electric Arc Furnace technology in Port Talbot and asset upgrades.

However, the installation of the low-emission system could lead to a loss of 2,800 jobs as electric furnaces need less manpower.

On January 19, Tata Steel said it will be shutting down the two blast furnaces in its Port Talbot Steelworks in Wales, UK in phases, a move that may affect up to 2,800 jobs even as the steel major starts talks to transform and restructure its loss-making UK business in line with its green goals.

The company said it will “commence statutory consultation as part of its plan to transform and restructure its UK business. This plan is intended to reverse more than a decade of losses and transition from the legacy blast furnaces to a more sustainable, green steel business.”

“Port Talbot’s two high-emission blast furnaces and coke ovens would close in a phased manner with the first blast furnace closing around mid-2024 and the remaining heavy end assets would wind down during the second half of 2024,” Tata Steel had said.

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