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IN - TATA Steel to invest up to GBP 800 million in Wales' steel industry

Wales Online reported that an ecstatic Mr Carwyn Jones has returned from a trade mission to India with the promise of up to GBP 800 million investment in Wales from TATA Steel over the next five years.

The announcement follows a meeting in Mumbai between Mr Jones and TATA vice chairman Mr Balasubramanian Muthuraman.

Mr Jones said that "I was delighted to meet Mr Muthuraman and to reaffirm personally the Welsh Government’s continuing commitment to partnership with TATA Steel. Mr Muthuraman explained to me that TATA Steel plans to invest up to GBP 800 million over the next five years in their Welsh facilities. This substantial investment will be used to improve production, product mix, quality and product range at their plants in Wales."
He added that "Mr Muthuraman paid tribute to the quality of the workforce available in Wales and recognized the importance of the continuing partnership with the Welsh Government in creating confidence for long-term investment decisions. He noted too that Port As yet the exact nature of the new TATA investment projects and their potential to create any jobs is unclear, although included in the potential GBP 800 million figure is GBP 185 million that has already been earmarked for a new blast furnace at Port Talbot.

A spokesman for TATA Steel said that "TATA Steel's key near term investment in Wales is the GBP 185 million to be spent on rebuilding the Number Four blast furnace at Port Talbot, work on which is scheduled to start in June 2012. This is in itself a substantial vote of confidence in Welsh steelmaking. A blast furnace is normally relined every 10, 15 or 20 years and a complete rebuild, which is an even bigger project than a reline, is an investment with a similarly long term horizon. Other near term investment projects take the investment committed at Port Talbot to almost GBP 250 million. At this stage it is not possible for us to be more specific about any further investment projects before the details have been finalized and approved."

Source - Wales Online

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