New plant at Corus’ Port Talbot steelworks that will reduce the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by some 240,000 tonnes per year was launched today.
Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales joined the CEO of Tata Steel Europe, Kirby Adams, in celebrating the completion of the £60 million investment.
Speaking at the launch, the First Minister said: “With Wales Sustainability Week taking place next week, it is a pleasure to be here in Port Talbot to launch this key investment by Corus, which is a big boost for sustainability in Wales. This project is all about protecting the environment, but moreover it represents a massive boost to the Welsh economy and a real vote of confidence by Tata in steelmaking in Wales.”
The steelworks business at Port Talbot directly employs some 5,000 people, but the economic community of contractors, suppliers and other partners increases the number many times. Corus employs over 7,000 people in Wales in total.
Mr. Adams said: “This investment has been the largest in the UK steel industry since Tata acquired Corus in 2007. In order to be more competitive in the global steel market, this project had to be delivered.”
Mr. Adams called on the Welsh Assembly Government to work closely with the steel industry and its customers for mutual benefit. He added: “The economic recovery is fragile and times are uncertain. But we have a long-term vision for sustainable steelmaking in Wales. Through this and other key investments, we have shown our commitment to growing our business in Wales. The Government can help create a business and regulatory environment in which further investment becomes even more attractive.”
The £60 million investment has created a facility that will complement Wales’ commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3% annually. The project recovers gas from the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking plant and reuses it elsewhere in the steelworks. The facility is also expected to reduce the emission of dust (known as PM10s), as well as to halve the Port Talbot works’ external requirement for natural gas.
Mr Adams said: “Part of Tata Steel’s vision is to set the global steel industry benchmark for corporate citizenship. By capturing the process gas emitted from the Port Talbot steel converters we are contributing further to that goal.”
Corus is Europe's second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations primarily in the UK and the Netherlands, Corus supplies steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, mechanical engineering and other demanding markets worldwide. Corus is a subsidiary of Tata Steel, one of the world’s top ten steel producers. The combined enterprise has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.
For further information, please contact: -
Bob Jones, Tata Steel Europe Media Relations Manager 0207 717 4532
Robert Dangerfield, Corus Strip Products UK, Communications Manager 01639 603