Tata to close Newport steel plant with loss of up to 380 jobs

Hundreds of jobs are set to be lost at a steel-making plant in South Wales after owner Tata announced plans to close the site.

The steel giant said it has been “unable to find a way forward” for the future of its Orb Electrical Steels factory site in Newport.

Up to 380 workers face redundancy at the steel factory, following the announcement which has been described as a “body blow” by unions.

The plant, which is part of Tata’s Cogent arm and produces steel for electrical transmission, had been up for sale since May 2018.

Henrik Adam, chief executive officer of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “Continuing to fund substantial losses at Orb Electrical Steels is not sustainable at a time when the European steel industry is facing considerable challenges. We saw no prospects of returning the Orb business to profitability in the coming years.

“I recognise how difficult this news will be for all those affected and we will work very hard to support them.”

Unite the union said it will hold Tata’s feet to the fire for assurances to protect workers at the site.

Tony Brady, Unite officer for Tata Steel, said: “The closure of the Orb electrical steel base in Newport is yet another body blow for the economy of Wales.

“Unite will be fighting for every job and holding Tata Steel’s feet to the fire over assurances that workers affected by today’s announcement will be redeployed.”

Rebecca Long Bailey, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said: “This is yet another blow to the UK steel industry and the communities that rely on it.

“This Government’s reckless no-deal policy is hammering manufacturing before Brexit has even happened.

“The Government must urgently work with steel unions and industry to implement an emergency strategy for the sector.”

Tata added that it also plans to close its Wolverhampton Engineering Steels Service Centre business after failing to find a buyer, putting 26 jobs at risk.

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