UK Government ministers have been urged by Newport East MP Jessica Morden to examine how Newport's Orb Electrical Steels plant can form part of the supply chain for electric vehicles.

Ms Morden raised the issue yesterday in the House of Commons, following an announcement last week that the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre would be funding a new electric drive unit for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

JLR, which is owned by Tata, has pledged to have an electrified option in place for all its vehicle models by 2020.


Speaking in questions to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Ms Morden said: “Last week Tata’s JLR announced they are creating an electric drive unit which the Government is helping to fund.

"In view of this, will the Steel Minister work with Tata to ensure the Orb Steelworks in Newport stays open and is part of a supply chain?

"It would be travesty to lose capacity to make electrical steels in this country.”

Responding for the Government, Steel Minister Nadahim Zahawi confirmed that he would meet Ms Morden and the Steel APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group on Steel and Metal Related Industries) next week, and would do "everything he can" to work with Tata.

Ms Morden said: “I look forward to following up on these points during my meeting with the Minister next week.”

Tata announced last month that it plans to close the Orb works at the end of this year, and around 400 jobs are in jeopardy.