STEEL firm Corus is to restart the operation of the hot strip mill at Llanwern next month.

It is understood between 50 and 100 people could work on the mill, depending on the volume of work.

But it could be a temporary measure, and the company says no new jobs will be created by the announcement.

Corus spokesman Tim Rutter said the mill was always to be maintained to come back online again if demand improved - and this had occurred earlier than expected.

How long the mill remains open after September will depend on whether demand continues to increase.

He added: “We have found that our Port Talbot hot strip mill isn’t as sufficient to supply our customers as we’d like. It is running at full capacity.”

Llanwern’s hot strip mill was mothballed in January, at the same time as 500 jobs were cut across the company’s Newport operations.

Meanwhile workers have been deployed in “general services” and other tasks around the site and in the community, working day shifts rather than a shift allowance.

The shift allowance, where employees worked antisocial hours, would entitle them to a premium.

Newport East MP Jessica Morden welcomed yesterday's news.

She said: “It demonstrates there is some improvement in the market and although this could be a temporary measure, it proves there is still demand for the specialist skills available at Llanwern.”

General secretary of the Community union Michael Leahy said, while it was good news, it came too late to save hundreds of jobs lost earlier in the year.

“We will be seeking a meeting with Corus to discuss the detail of the announcement and its longer-term implications,” he said.