OUR campaign to help ensure the Orb Electrical Steels plant in Newport has a bright and prosperous future is off to a promising start.

In September, Tata Steel announced the plant would close by the end of the year – putting 380 jobs at risk. We believe this is the wrong decision, and we’re petitioning the UK government to step in to save the facility.

More than 100 signatures have already been collected from members of the public on the first day, with parliamentary candidates, Assembly Members and unions throwing their weight behind our campaign.


“The decision to close Orb Steelworks makes no business sense and fails to grasp the clear opportunity to make the plant a world leader in the growing market of electrical steel for the automotive sector,” said Eter Hughes, Unite Union Wales regional secretary.

“We have a ready-made world class workforce, that with a small amount of strategic government investment, could transform the site into a facility that could continue to provide well paid employment for decades to come.

“Newport and the South Wales economy cannot afford to lose these jobs.

“It would be a travesty if the opportunity is missed to branch out and secure a bright future for the Orb workforce and their families.”

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community Union, echoed this: “The Orb steelworks is the beating heart of Newport, providing hundreds of jobs and sustaining the livelihoods of thousands of families.

“On October 12 more than 500 people marched on the streets of Newport to show the wielders of power in Westminster, the Senedd and at Tata steel how important this site is to our steel industry and our country.

“We now need to come together again and use our collective voice to call on government and Tata to do the right thing and give the site the investment it needs to have a prosperous future.”

Tata has said converting the site to create steels for future electric vehicle production would cost more than £50 million. Yet the demand for such steel is there.

A report put together by Tata themselves claimed demand for steel for electrical vehicles will grow by 4.2 million tonnes by 2050.

Moreover, a plan has been drawn up by Community and consultants Syndex, which concludes that the plant can be saved with £30 million of government funding.

It would enable the plant to produce the non-orientated steels required for electric vehicles, alongside the grain-orientated steels that it currently makes, also meaning a Wales-only supply chain, using coils from the Port Talbot works.

And yesterday, John Griffiths AM for Newport East raised the issued in the Senedd.

“I welcome the petition started by The South Wales Argus and praise the efforts of the workforce, Community union and the local people who have mounted a strong defence of the plant,” he said.

“The Orb steelworks in Newport should continue in operation and with the right level of support from Tata Steel, the UK government and Welsh Government, it would be enabled to produce the electric steels needed for electric car production.”

Click here to download the petition: Complete Petition.pdf

All signatures must include the following to be accepted by the government:


Address (to verify you live in the UK and are eligible to sign the petion)


The fourth column can be used to complete your address, include an email address, or left blank

Print it out, sign it, get your friends and family to sign it and drop it into the Argus office in Cardiff Road, Maesglas, Newport, NP20 3QN.