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Tata Steel shuts 1 of its 2 blast furnaces at Port Talbot in South Wales

Tata Steel closed down one of its two blast furnaces at Port Talbot in South Wales on Thursday, coinciding with the UK’s election day that saw a shift in government. The decommissioning of blast furnace number 5 follows a timeline that the company indicated earlier. The remaining heavy-end assets are slated to wind down in the latter half of 2024, with the closure of blast furnace number 4 expected by the end of September.Late Thursday, Tata Steel UK issued a statement confirming the cessation of operations at blast furnace number 5 at Port Talbot as part of its ongoing restructuring programme to curb daily losses exceeding £1 million. Blast furnace number 5 commenced operations in 1959.Tata Steel UK’s chief executive officer, Rajesh Nair, assured that the company is committed to minimising the impact on affected employees and the local community. “This includes the most favourable financial package of support it has ever offered and facilities for training and upskilling activities, alongside finance for small and medium-sized businesses through the UK Steel Enterprise regeneration and job creation scheme,” the firm said.