Tata Steel has today announced it will invest £8 million at its Clydebridge plant in Cambuslang, Glasgow, to increase its capability to produce high-strength steel plate.
Workers at Clydebridge carry out two processes – quenching and tempering – which strengthen steel plate. The investment – which includes expanding the plant’s two furnaces, and installing two new gas-cutting machines and a new stamping and marking machine – will boost the output from the specialist plant by up to 50% and lead to the creation of about 26 new jobs.
Jon Bolton, Director of Tata Steel’s Long Products Hub, said: “This investment supports our ambition to focus on making premium products for profitable markets.
“The Clydebridge plant specialises in producing difficult-to-make high-strength steels used in some of the most challenging environments around the world. Increasing our capability at Clydebridge will help us to maximise the value of the steel plate we make in the UK and make this business more competitive and sustainable.
“Steel demand is not back to what it was before the recession – different sectors have recovered at different rates. But we will continue to invest to enhance our capability in manufacturing specialist and highly technical steel products.”
Today’s news follows the announcement last August of an £8 million investment in a new heavy-duty press and other equipment at Tata Steel’s nearby Dalzell plate rolling mill, in Motherwell, and the recruitment of 60 new workers across the two Scottish plants.
Colin Timmins, Works Manager of the Dalzell and Clydebridge steelworks, said: “We have a fantastic workforce and this investment is a reward for the innovation and flexibility they have shown.
“This is the second major investment we are celebrating in less than a year. It’s the largest investment in the Clydebridge steelworks for many years and it will be welcomed by our workers, their families and the whole community.”
The quenching and tempering processes involve heating the steel plate to up to 1,000°C before cooling it, either rapidly using water, or gradually. These processes alter the microstructure of the steel to improve its strength.
Quenched and tempered steel plate is typically used in the mining and energy exploration sectors, in products such as underground mining structures, on offshore oil and gas platforms and in “yellow goods” – cranes, excavators and dumper trucks. The majority of Clydebridge’s products are exported.
Wayne Bird, Clydebridge Branch Secretary for Community Union, said: “This is fantastic news which proves that our Scottish workforce is worth investing in. Together with the recent investment in Dalzell, this will help us to develop a sustainable steel industry in Scotland and secure employment at the plants.”
The steel processed at Clydebridge is manufactured in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, before being rolled at one of Tata Steel’s two UK plate mills – Scunthorpe or Dalzell. The recruitment at Clydebridge will start next spring prior to the expanded capacity coming on line in summer 2012. The plant’s capacity will increase to 3,200 tonnes per week. About 100 people are currently employed in Clydebridge, with a further 230 in Dalzell.
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About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel (formerly known as Corus) comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations in the UK and the Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, material handling and other demanding markets worldwide.
Tata Steel is one of the world’s top ten steel producers. The combined group has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.