Tata Steel, the Indian multinational steel-making company, has unveiled its plans to restructure its U.K. business in an effort to reverse over a decade of losses and transition towards sustainable steel production. The restructuring is expected to impact approximately 2,800 employees, with around 2,500 roles affected within the next 18 months and a possible further 300 roles impacted in three years' time.
As part of the restructuring, Tata Steel aims to close one of Port Talbot's two high-emission blast furnaces and coke ovens by mid-2024. The remaining heavy-end assets will be gradually phased out later in the year, leading to a significant reduction in carbon emissions. The closure is projected to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 85%, contributing to an overall decrease in the U.K.'s carbon emissions by about 1.5%.
Throughout the transition and in the future, Tata Steel plans to continue operating the hot strip mill, which plays a crucial role in reheating thick steel slabs into thin sheets. Discussions with the U.K. Steel Committee have confirmed the company's commitment to maintaining this operation.
To ensure long-term, high-quality production, Tata Steel will invest £1.25 billion ($1.59 billion) in electric arc furnace technology at the Port Talbot site and upgrade its existing assets. This investment has received support from the U.K. government, which has pledged up to £500 million to aid in the transition, while Tata Steel plans to contribute £750 million of its own funds.
The restructuring plan is set to begin with statutory consultations; however, specific dates have not been provided at this time. By implementing these changes and investing in sustainable technologies, Tata Steel aims to transform its U.K. business and secure a more prosperous future.