Tata Blames Uncompetitive Energy Prices For UK Steel Crisis

  • Date: 28/04/16
  • Sky News

The head of Tata Steel UK says there are serious question marks over the viability of its Port Talbot steel plant in South Wales. Mr Jha told the business select committee that there were “structural disadvantages” in the steel industry in Britain which made production unprofitable.

Speaking to a committee of MPs, Bimlendra Jha also said the Government will probably have to do more to help the firm find a buyer for its steel plants in the country.

A few weeks ago, the company announced it planned to pull out of the UK and was putting its assets up for sale, with tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

Tata Steel UK boss Bimlendra Jha

Tata Steel UK boss Bimlendra Jha speaks to a committee of MPs

Mr Jha told the business select committee that there were “structural disadvantages” in the steel industry in Britain which made production unprofitable.

He said this had forced the firm to sell its steel assets and it would not have made the shock move if it was making money.

If energy prices were the same as in Germany for example, Tata would be £40m better off, he said, but he was determined to find a buyer.

However he pointed out: “I continue to hold the view that currently there are serious question marks over the viability” of the giant Port Talbot plant and “we have said it is better for someone else to give it a try”.

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