Britain will pump 500 million pounds ($621 million) into Tata Steel to decarbonize its Welsh site. The aim is to secure the future of the country’s steel industry, but this puts up to 3,000 jobs at risk.
The overall £1.25 billion funding package for Britain’s largest steelworks includes £750 million from Tata to finance the switch to producing steel in lower-emission electric arc furnaces using coal-fired methods.
The British government said in a statement that its grant, described as one of the largest government support packages in history, would help secure 5,000 jobs.
Tata Steel currently employs more than 8,000 people, raising the prospect of up to 3,000 layoffs as the lower-carbon electric furnaces are less labor-intensive.
Tata Steel had long warned that the company could close its sites without government help, and Britain’s Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said on Friday the government was protecting jobs in the long term.
“The UK Government supports our steel sector and this proposal secures a sustainable future for Welsh steel and is expected to save thousands of jobs in the long term,” she said in a statement.
The government said Tata Steel UK will now inform and consult with employees and unions about the proposals.
According to data from UK Steel in May, the UK steel industry directly employs 39,800 people and supports a further 50,000 jobs in the supply chain.
A domestic steel industry is vital to Britain’s security, as it is used to build warships and fighter aircraft, as well as underpinning manufacturing, automotive and transport sectors.
Britain said the new electric ovens would cut the country’s overall emissions by about 1.5%.
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Source : www.ndtv.com