Tata Steel has announced that it will continue with its £1.25 billion investment to construct a state-of-the-art Electric Arc Furnace in Port Talbot, putting 300 jobs at risk at Llanwern Steelworks.

The company informed trade unions that Port Talbot's two Blast Furnaces (no.5 and no.4) will close by the end of June and end of September, respectively.

In January, the company had announced that over 2,700 jobs would be lost, including operations in Port Talbot, and revealed that 300 jobs may be affected at Llanwern on the eastern side of Newport.

Tata Steel UK has now launched a voluntary redundancy program from May 15 to prepare for placing equipment orders for the Electric Arc Furnace by September 2024.

Enabling and preparatory works at the site are expected to be completed by December 2024, with construction on the project starting in August 2025, based on the current permitting timelines.

Tata Steel UK’s CEO, Rajesh Nair, said: “We have spent the last seven months openly and transparently sharing detailed business information, asset condition, maintenance plans and market forecasts with our trade union colleagues and advisers.

“While we have agreed to keep the Hot Strip Mill running through the transition, the unions’ plan presents significant financial, operational and safety challenges, and delays the transition to green steel by two years. We have concluded that it is not feasible to accept their plan, and it is not affordable.

“This is a difficult period of change for our people, and we will do our upmost to support them. Tata Steel has always been a responsible, long-term and patient investor in its UK business, and we are committing significant additional capital to ensure that we can create an operationally, financially and environmentally sustainable business for the future."

Steelworker’s union Community have responded to Tata Steel’s decision to reject the Multi-Union plan for Port Talbot. The credible alternative to the company’s bad deal for steel.

A delegation of Tata Steel executives informed steel unions of their decision at a meeting today, outlining that they would be rejecting the plan – which had been endorsed by industry experts, the Labour Parry, and MSs from all political parties in the Senedd – on cost grounds.

Community General Secretary Roy Rickhuss said: “It’s incredibly disappointing that Tata have chosen to reject the Multi-Union Plan, which is an ambitious and viable alternative to their destructive bad deal for steel.

"We do not accept the company's assertion our plan was too expensive - in fact, it would have returned the company to profits, and the additional capital expenditure needed to make it a reality could have been funded by an additional £450m from the government - a drop in the water compared to what other European countries are investing in their domestic steel industries.