Talks held with potential steel plant buyers

Picture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin
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The Scottish Government is involved in talks with “interested parties” about the prospect of taking over two closure-threatened steel mills, business minister Fergus Ewing has said.

Efforts to save the plants at Cambuslang and Motherwell, which employ about 300 workers, will continue even after a 45-day consultation period on the closure plans ends tomorrow.

It emerged last month that former Rangers owner Sir David Murray was among those who have been approached about getting involved in saving the plants.

Mr Ewing said: “Scottish Enterprise and TATA Steel have carried out an extensive global search for an alternative operator for Dalzell and Clydebridge and are in discussion with some of the interested parties.

“The Taskforce remains focussed on finding an alternative operator for Dalzell and Clydebridge and keeping jobs where possible. It will meet again next week to review progress.”

The fate of the Scottish plants was among a spate of steel plant closures announced across the UK earlier this year as the global proce of steel plummeted with many industry insiders blaming cheap Chinese exports flooding onto the market.

Mr Ewing said that the current global environment is “hugely challenging” but indicated that tax breaks could be put in place for a new owner, while costs could also be cut.

Bimlendra Jha, Executive Chairman, Tata Steel’s Longs Steel UK, said the firm would provide as much “help and support” as possible to help secure a future for the plant.

Steve McCool, National Officer at steelworkers’ union Community added: “All parties need to work together to ensure that the skills are retained and the assets are preserved to ensure that production has the chance to continue.”