A STEEL mill in South Wales is to be temporarily mothballed, with the loss of 115 jobs, it has been announced.
Owner Tata Steel blamed “continuing poor UK steel demand’’ for the decision to close the Llanwern hot rolling mill.
Tata Steel said the facility is expected to remain mothballed until the UK economy and steel demand justify a restart of operations.
Spokesman Jon Ferriman said: “It is with great regret that we have had to make this decision.
“I would like to pay tribute to those valuable people who have helped us make the flexible working model a success at Llanwern. Clearly, this is a very difficult time for them.”
He said: “The Llanwern hot rolling mill is an important operation for us and our intention is to bring it back into operation as soon as market conditions permit.”
During the financial crisis in 2009, the facility was mothballed for nine months, also as a result of poor market conditions, leading to a flexible working model being designed.
Mr Ferriman said: “We remain committed to sustainable steelmaking in Wales.
“Our major capital expenditure project to rebuild Port Talbot’s Blast Furnace No 4 is now under way and we are working on a raft of investment initiatives to further improve our competitiveness for the future.
“At the same time, we are placing a strong emphasis on cost-saving measures as we weather the current economic downturn.”