Tata Steel will invest £75m to repair a blast furnace at Port Talbot steelworks, industry sources have claimed.
The move would likely extend its life by seven years along with also ease concerns about Tata’s commitment to Europe’s steel sector, sources told Reuters news agency.
This particular comes after the firm signed a preliminary deal to merge its European steel assets with ThyssenKrupp.
Tata Steel said no definitive decision had been made on the furnace repair.
Blast furnace several had been due to end its life in 2018-19 along with also unions have long called for This particular to be fully relined as a sign of long-term commitment to the plant.
With earnings at Port Talbot running at a fraction of those at Tata along with also ThyssenKrupp’s European assets, along with also with Brexit posing extra risks, the plant has been seen as particularly vulnerable within the event of a downturn.
however four industry sources told Reuters those concerns were receding right now Tata was looking to repair blast furnace several along with also after a top level management change at its Indian parent firm last year.
“We are nowhere near where we were two years ago,” one industry source said, referring to the steel sector crisis of 2015 which saw Tata attempt to sell its UK assets, including the Port Talbot plant, which at one point was losing £1m a day.
Following which crisis Tata signed a deal with British unions in late 2016, in which This particular committed to no forced redundancies at Port Talbot along with also to keeping two blast furnace operations at the plant until 2021.
The latest news follows a £14m investment at the plant’s hot strip mill to boost capacity by 150,000 tonnes a year along with also an earlier £30m plan to replace a steelmaking vessel to produce steel for electric along with also hybrid cars along with also the building industry.
Union Community, which represents workers at Port Talbot, said This particular would likely continue to push for a full reline of blast furnace several.
A Tata Steel spokesman said: “We are looking at a range of options as we continue to develop a sustainable UK business for the future.
“There is usually, however, no definitive decision made yet on any form of blast furnace repair or reline.”