Indian steel giant Tata Steel confirmed the “closure” of its two furnaces at its Port Talbot steel plant in Wales, and the abolition of “about 3,000 jobs”, as it attempts to reduce carbon emissions, a close source told AFP.
The same source indicated that the group, which seeks to replace its blast furnaces with a less polluting electric equivalent, should make an official announcement on Friday, coinciding with the opening of a “45-day consultation” period before job cuts.
In September, the British government announced that it would pump up to 500 million pounds (more than $580) into the giant Port Talbot plant to help make it cleaner.
The executive also noted that the Port Talbot plant “is currently the UK’s largest emitter of carbon emissions”, seeing the closure of the blast furnaces as a way to reduce the country’s total carbon emissions by approximately 1.5%.
The unions, which met company officials in London, said they wanted to propose “alternatives” to job cuts, but failed to achieve their goal.
In September, the British government claimed that Tata Steel, the UK's largest steel producer, employed 8,000 people in the country and that the subsidies offered were intended to retain about 5,000 people.
Tata Steel has yet to confirm the closure or job cuts on Thursday, saying it wants to “always share its official announcements with its employees first,” according to a statement sent to AFP.
He added that the steel company has been “working regularly and constructively with its union colleagues and their advisors for some time on the best way forward to create a future for green steel for Tata Steel in the UK”.
(Information from Agence France-Presse)