Commenting on the news that there are two potential buyers for Newport's Orb Steels plant, the Shadow Economy Minister, Russell George AM, said:
“As reported in the media, the interest from two companies – Liberty Steel, which already has an operation in Newport, and Big River Steel from the US – is, of course, welcome, and especially at this time of year.”
The site makes electrical steel used in power transmission and the car industry.
Mr George continued:
“I was equally pleased to hear yesterday that Tata Steel, which owns Orb, announced that the plant is to be ‘mothballed’ rather than closed. We must remember that it is a reprieve, not a guarantee of the plant remaining in operation.
“For this to happen, then it requires further and future investment to maintain its viability. Tata Steel has said some £50 million would be required to upgrade the plant to fully support the electric car market for domestic and overseas consumption.
“I have also been encouraged by a statement from Tata Steel that it has been working hard to identify alternative jobs at Tata Steel for employees at the Orb business, and that remains committed to finding jobs for all those wanting to stay with the company.”
Mr George concluded by saying:
“With Aston Martin in the Vale, Projekt Grenadier from Ineos in Bridgend, and eventually, TVR in Ebbw Vale, the importance of keeping or making all areas in South Wales and beyond part of the car-manufacturing supply chain is vital.”