Tata Steel UK

The company will also consider investing in direct iron recovery technology under certain conditions

Indian steelmaker Tata Steel will consider additional investments in its Port Talbot plant in the future if more government funding is allocated. The company’s Chief Executive Officer T.V. Narendran, the BBC reports.

Tata Steel’s restructuring plans in the UK include 2.8 thousand job cuts. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would close both blast furnaces at its Port Talbot steel plant by the end of this year, replacing them with an electric arc furnace.

T.V. Narendran noted that the decision to close the blast furnaces was made because the company has not received a return on investment over 15 years of operation and the production assets are reaching the end of their life cycle.

The Guardian notes that Tata’s decision, along with British Steel’s similar plan to close its blast furnaces in Scunthorpe, will mark a new era for the UK, as the country will not be able to produce steel from iron ore for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. The Indian company’s Port Talbot project instead relies on the use of British scrap, as the raw materials are currently mostly exported from the country.

Tata Steel’s CEO confirmed that the company will consider investing in direct reduced iron (DRI) technology. The technology can be used in conjunction with an electric arc furnace and will create hundreds of jobs. However, this is only possible if the company can guarantee the supply of gas at a competitive price and then hydrogen with zero emissions.

Tata Steel is focusing on restructuring its assets in Europe. The first stage of decarbonization in the Netherlands involves switching from coke production to DRI.