Tata Steel ‘no comment’ on reports of new Port Talbot investment
13 Feb 2018
Tata Steel has refused to comment on reports that it is planning to commit millions of pounds to help extend the life of one of the blast furnaces at its Port Talbot plant.
Blast furnace five was due to end its life in the 2018/19 financial year but rumours have surfaced of a possible £75 million investment that would extend its life by a further five years.
Any such plan is unlikely before the company completes its planned merger with fellow steel giant ThyssenKrupp.
Such a financial commitment would represent a remarkable turnaround by the parent company which less than three years ago was proposing to sell off loss-making Port Talbot.
Things improved in 2016 when Tata Steel said it would not force redundancies and would maintain two blast furnaces in operation into the next decade.
It has since invested around nearly £45 million in refurbishments and repairs.
However, there had been a question mark over whether a merged Tata and ThyssenKrupp could be expected to maintain a commitment to the South Wales site, given the returns on both companies’ European sites far outstripped Port Talbot.