Tata Steel Port Talbot steelworks face early shutdown

Tata Steel is to close both blast furnaces at its Port Talbot works in South Wales earlier than planned.

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By Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin


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Commenting on the news that Tata Steel is to close both blast furnaces at its Port Talbot works in South Wales earlier than planned [1], Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, Head of Analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

"This news will obviously be hugely concerning to workers at the plant, and it did not have to be this way. A planned transition to future-proof technologies, including hydrogen, could have saved many more jobs. There are already around 30 green steel plants projects globally; without a proper plan, the UK is falling behind in the development of green steel manufacturing."


  • ⁠Labour’s manifesto committed to investing in UK industries including £2.5bn for green steel, £1.5bn for gigafactories and nearly £2m for free ports and port infrastructure.
  • ⁠The Conservative manifesto did not lay out commitments to industry other than existing ones, for example £500m for Tata’s steel plant in Port Talbot, which it is thought Labour will honour if it comes into power.
  • ⁠The UK’s steel industry has been in decline since the 1970s and Tata steel has announced that it will close down the two blast furnaces at its Port Talbot plant to be replaced by an electric arc furnace. The Government states that Tata Steel UK, the owner of the Port Talbot steel works, is losing £1m per day at this plant, although unions dispute that figure and several other numbers about losses have been reported. Lower production levels have been blamed for operational losses.
  • ⁠The UK does not currently have any plans for converting or building new hydrogen direct reduction plants for steelmaking, There are currently around 30 hydrogen steel projects around the world of which 8 in Germany, 3 in France and 2 in Spain.

Notes to editors:

1. Tata Steel warns UK furnace shutdown may start earlier than planned: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/tata-steel-close-uk-plant-earlier-than-planned-due-strike-pa-media-reports-2024-06-27/

2. The briefing, Election debates: energy and climate misinformation, is also available as a download here.

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: george.smeeton@eciu.net