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Tata Steelworks: Newport

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:15 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 4:15 pm, 8th October 2019

We are more than happy to meet. Obviously we cannot guarantee that a third party would wish to be involved in those meetings, but certainly from the perspective of the Government and the Wales Office, we would be more than happy to arrange a meeting with the unions and Syndex to see how their plan could be taken further. The key part has to be whether it can provide a long-term sustainable future, and we note that the plant has been for sale for two years with no purchaser having come forward. Certainly, UK Government Ministers are more than happy to meet interested parties to discuss what we could do.

In the context of the wider steel industry, the Government have made up to £800 million of funding available to support decarbonisation and innovation in the industry. We remain committed to supporting the Welsh steel sector in accessing this funding and ensuring that it is able to compete with the best in the world. Recent and ongoing work to support the steel sector includes establishing the £250 million clean steel fund, which was announced in August and will support the sector’s transition to lower-carbon iron and steel production through new technologies and processes. It will also maximise longevity and resilience in the UK steel sector by building on longstanding expertise and skills and harnessing clean growth opportunities.

Our industrial energy transformation fund is a £315 million fund supporting short-term projects in both energy efficiency and decarbonisation for businesses with high energy use. The fund will help businesses with high energy use, including steel companies, to cut their bills and transition UK industry to a low carbon future.

The industrial decarbonisation challenge is a £170 million fund aimed at the UK’s industrial carbon emissions clusters. South Wales has been identified as one of six clusters in the UK that will benefit from that fund, which supports our grand challenge mission to develop a net zero emissions cluster by 2040 through the development of innovative low- carbon solutions. It will provide long-term support to the industry, ensuring Britain’s long term sustainable future.