Tata Steel has announced it will close its Tata Steel Construction Products business in South Wales due to the economic downturn.
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones will chair a meeting of the Council for Economic Renewal next week to ‘urgently consider what more we can do to support the construction sector’.
In a move that will see the loss of 70 jobs, Tata attributed the closure to the long-running economic downturn and said the business had been operating at a consistent loss since 2008.
Tata Steel distribution UK & Ireland managing director Paul Steele said: “It is with great regret that, following a detailed review of the TSCP business, we have proposed to cease operations at Construction Products.
“Clearly this is a very difficult time for the people who work for the business and I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has tried so hard to enable this business, which has operated at a consistent loss since 2008, to overcome the continuing economic downturn.”
The business was focused on floor decking systems, highways barrier systems for roads and parapets, and also lightweight frames for a variety of applications.
The company blamed UK carbon costs for its decision to restructure its long products division, in a move which could see 1,500 jobs lost, back in May.
A Welsh government spokesperson said: “This is clearly disappointing news. We are very concerned about the ongoing and serious challenges facing the UK steel industry as a whole - not just the impact of the slow economic growth in the UK and the downturn in the construction sector but also the onerous requirements of the regulatory regime.
“Our commitment to the construction sector is absolutely clear. That’s why the business minister, Edwina Hart has expended our economic renewal programme’s priority sectors to include the construction industry, which has an estimated 10,000 businesses employing 100,000 people in Wales.”
Tata Steel said a full consultation process will take place over a statutory minimum period of 30 days with the trade unions and employee representatives, and with all employees on an individual basis.
The company will explore all opportunities to re-deploy employees where practical and to assist those people leaving the business through a range of support services.
The latest World Steel Association demand forecasts released this week predicted an 11 per cent increase in global demand for steel over the next two years.