(Bloomberg) -- UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the government is committed to producing steel in Britain after a report of talks to provide public funding to Tata Steel Ltd.’s British business.
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Sky News said on Saturday that the government would provide £500 million ($630 million) to the Indian company in a deal that may be finalized as early as this month. Tata Steel would sign off on £700 million of capital spending over a multi-year period under the terms being discussed, Sky said.
“We are committed to manufacturing steel in this country, but we want to have sustainable steel, green steel,” Hunt said in an interview on Sunday with Sky’s Trevor Phillips. “That is why we are having discussions with all relevant manufacturers.”
Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site is the UK’s biggest steelworks, employing some 4,000 people, and the steel giant has been in talks with the UK for years over funding the transition to greener production. The company told Sky that its discussions with the government are ongoing.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has outlined advances in manufacturing among its five priority sectors, according to Hunt. Britain is one of the world’s top 10 global manufacturers and it can “certainly compete with China,” the chancellor said.
Steel needs to be produced domestically to avoid supply chain issues and to promote the British automotive industry amid a drive toward electric cars, while it’s also needed for wind turbines, Hunt said.
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