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Tata Steel is seeking UK funds for Wales plant, says report

The Indian steel giant is believed to have informally requested financial support from the government to upgrade its Continuous Annealing Process Line

Press Trust of India  |  London 

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is seeking government backing for a 60-million-pound project at its steelworks in Wales, according to a media report on Sunday.

The project is aimed at overhauling a production line at to be able to make lighter steel for car-making, which is expected to secure the future of Britain's largest steel operation.

The Indian steel giant is believed to have informally requested financial support from the government to upgrade its Continuous Annealing Process Line (CAPL) to make lighter, thinner and stronger galvanised steels, the Sunday Times reported.

The move is aimed at meeting demands from the automotive sector, which is trying to slash the weight of cars to cut emissions.

Industry sources told the newspaper that taxpayer support for the CAPL upgrade was integral to Tata committing to reline an ageing blast furnace.

Without the extra investment, one of the two towering furnaces that convert iron ore into molten iron is due to finish operations by the end of next year.

is understood to be working on a plan to extend the furnace's life until about 2026. However, this plan falls short of a full relining, which would cost about 150 million pounds.

Maintaining Port Talbot's two furnaces is seen by workers' unions and the government as crucial to the survival of the plant, which has about 4,000 workers.

In September 2017, UK business secretary Greg Clark wrote to Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, asking for a "specific commitment" to the relining.

Chandrasekaran said overhauling the site would help "develop the business viability" for the reline but fell short of a commitment.

First Published: Mon, February 26 2018. 00:06 IST
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