Tata Steel bosses in Port Talbot warn Welsh sites could close without financial support

The Welsh Government said officials are in talks with the company, UK ministers and trades unions to seek an "urgent" resolution. Credit: PA Images

Unions are concerned Tata's Welsh steelwork plants could close without support from the UK Government.

They said they are particularly worried about the future of the Port Talbot plant as well as Tata’s other Welsh sites.

Discussions about decarbonisation plans between Tata and the UK Government are said to have stalled.

Unions say Tata is seeking £1.5 billion in UK state aid to help fund the closure of two blast furnaces at Port Talbot, and their replacement with two electric arc furnaces that are less carbon-intensive.

Tata Steel has previously said it needed £1.5bn in aid from the UK Government or its plants could close Credit: PA Images

Unite's national officer Tony Brady said the steel industry is "central to the economy of Wales" and "no steel plant in the world has decarbonised their production without Government assistance."

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Group, told the Financial Times: "A transition to a greener steel plant is the intention that we have … But this is only possible with financial help from the Government."

A UK Government spokesperson said steel plays a "critical role" in the UK economy and Tata is a "valued steel producer and significant employer.“

Local MP Labour's Stephen Kinnock claimed the workforce are being "let down" by the UK Government.

The Welsh Government said it has "repeatedly" called on UK ministers to support steel-making at Port Talbot.

"Our focus continues to be to explore all avenues to secure a successful, low carbon future for Welsh steel. This goal is entirely possible, but it requires action and grip from the UK Government.

“We have repeatedly called on UK Ministers to urgently bring forward a package of support to secure steel-making at Port Talbot. Welsh Government officials are today engaging with the company, UK Government and trades unions to seek an urgent resolution."