Tata Steel has announced it will be investing more than £7 million installing a new slitting line at its Hartlepool Tube Mill.
The County Durham plant currently employs almost 300 people and produces 200,000 tonnes of steel tubes each year.
Tata Steel is the largest steelmaker in the UK with primary steelmaking at Port Talbot in South Wales supporting manufacturing and distribution operations at sites across Wales, England and Northern Ireland as well as Norway and Sweden.
The Tata Steel group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes. It is one of the world’s most geographically diversified steel producers, with operations and a commercial presence across the world.
The company employs more than 8,000 people and has an annual crude steel capacity of 5 million tonnes. The company supplies high-quality steel products to demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering.
The new slitter in Hartlepool will allow the site to process coils of steel delivered from its Port Talbot steelmaking site, itself. Currently, wide steel slabs are slit in Port Talbot before being rolled and sent to Hartlepool to be turned into steel tubes, which are then used in a wide range of products such as agricultural machinery, sports stadiums, steel-framed buildings and the energy sector.
All of the steel products made at the Hartlepool site are 100% recyclable.
The project is expected to take more than a year to complete and is the second major investment announced this year, with Tata Steel also investing at its Corby site. Both projects will further strengthen the UK business, improving services to customers and using the latest available technology to reduce environmental emissions.
Andrew Ward, Works Manager of Tata Steel in Hartlepool, said:
“This project will allow us to bring a vital process on site, which in turn will free up thousands of tonnes of capacity at the Port Talbot site.
“This will improve our efficiency and reduce overall CO2 emissions from our steel processing as well as reducing the total costs across the business.”
The investment at the Hartlepool site, where almost 300 people work producing up to 200,000 tonnes of steel tubes a year, is predicted to pay for itself in less than three years.
“Above all, safety will be a key factor in this investment both during the construction phase and when the new slitter is up and running. It will feature the latest computer controlled technology, which reduces the need for our employees to be close to any hazardous operations and it will be as energy-efficient as possible.
“The new slitter line will optimise the UK value chain for our smaller tube product range, allowing steel coil to flow through the chain and provide flexibility with on-site slitting . This investment will support the ongoing drive to improve customer delivery performance and responsiveness which the Hartlepool 20” Mill team pride themselves upon.”
Tata Steel in the UK has the ambition to produce net-zero steel by 2050 at the latest and to have reduced 30% of CO2 emissions by 2030. The vast majority of that work will need to happen in South Wales where the company’s largest operational site is. Tata Steel is developing detailed plans for this transition to future steelmaking based on low CO2 technologies and is close to knowing which will best help achieve its ambitions.
The group recorded a consolidated turnover of US $32.83 Bn in the financial year ending March 31, 2022.