Edwina Hart AM CStJ MBE, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
I wanted to make a statement following the announcement made by Tata Steel UK last night.
The Tata announcement stated: “Following the strategic view taken by the Tata Steel Board regarding the UK business, it has advised the Board of its European holding company i.e. Tata Steel Europe, to explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts. Given the severity of the funding requirement in the foreseeable future, the Tata Steel Europe Board will be advised to evaluate and implement the most feasible option in a time bound manner.”
Tata stated this decision was made in the face of deteriorating financial performance of the UK subsidiary over last 12 months and expectation that this deterioration shows no sign of slowing despite the best efforts action by the company and staff.
This is a difficult time for workers in Port Talbot, other sites in Wales and across the UK. During the review process, we remain committed to working with Tata and the Trade Unions on a long term future for steel making in Wales.
We are working with the UK Government to look at all viable options to keep a strong British steel industry at the heart of our manufacturing base. We must all pull together to urgently seek a sustainable solution to secure a long term steel presence in Port Talbot and Wales, as part of a robust manufacturing foundation for the UK.
We will continue to work with the UK Government and others to ensure that all avenues of support are open and available. We will be raising with the UK Government again the need and opportunity to look to Europe for assistance through mechanisms such as the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
A meeting of the Tata Taskforce will take place on the 4th April and these and further actions will be agreed.