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Tata Steel shuts down Port Talbot coke ovens

Tata Steel UK has announced the closure of its coke ovens due to operational instability, potentially affecting jobs

Tata Steel UK has declared the closure of its Morfa Coke Ovens in Port Talbot effective from Wednesday, 20th March.

Tata Steel Chief Executive Officer Rajesh Nair cited deteriorating operational stability as the primary reason behind this decision.

Mr Nair expressed regret over the necessity of ceasing operations and highlighted efforts made by the workforce despite ongoing challenges.

The closure aligns with the company’s wider restructuring plan, which involves phasing out heavy-end assets due to their end-of-life capability.

Rajesh Nair said: “As part of our efforts to stem our current losses, and given the condition of the assets, we propose to close the heavy end iron and steelmaking assets at Port Talbot within this calendar year in a phased manner.

“Tata Steel is investing £1.25 billion investment in electric arc furnace-based capacity which will secure steel making in Port Talbot for the long term —and facilitate a transition to low-CO2 steelmaking. Consultation on these aspects is currently ongoing.”

Alun Davies, National Officer for Steel at the steelworkers’ union Community, said: “The early closure of the coke ovens is a massive blow but we knew they have been deteriorating and our number one concern is the safety of our members.

“Tata know the unions will not accept any compulsory redundancies and we are working to conclude negotiations on an enhanced redundancy and retention package.

“Regretfully the coke ovens were always going to close during the transition period, but once the national consultations conclude we will ballot for industrial action should Tata confirm their intention to close Blast Furnace Number 4.”

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