Friday, May 15, 2015

News: Tata's two year timetable

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Tata Steel will relocate all its UK-based research and development within two years, including moving away from the Swinden Technology Centre (STC) in Rotherham.

This week saw an agreement signed between Tata Steel and the University of Warwick which marks the next stage in the creation of a new UK research and development centre for Europe's second largest steelmaker.

The STC mainly focuses on product research and applications research for the transport, building and construction sectors but Tata considers that it is no longer a suitable home for the R&D arm and announced that it is relocating research to Warwick University last year.

The Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) announced in March it is establishing a £20m Advanced Steel Research Centre at the university with the backing of Government funding.

The first step will be the opening of a research facility at the university this autumn where more than 40 Tata Steel scientists will be based.

Within two years, Tata Steel will relocate all its UK-based R&D specialist equipment, including electron microscopes, to expanded facilities at the university where a range of new materials will be developed to meet customers' future demands, such as for renewable energy generation and more fuel-efficient cars and planes.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations, said: "This development will allow us to work with world-class scientists and researchers to create new steels for customers who are shaping the low-carbon technologies of tomorrow.

"Our new UK R&D facilities will enable us to speed up the development of new products that help our customers become more competitive."

As part of the consultation on Rotherham's local plan, Property consultants, Harris Lamb, on behalf of Tata Steel, has put forward potential residential development at the Moorgate site.

Rotherham will still be the location for the manufacture of speciality steel and for the Proving Factory - a £22m government-backed manufacturing initiative will take low-carbon vehicle technologies designed by small high-tech British companies and university research departments and prove their viability in production to increase their chances of being adopted by major motor manufacturers.

The Proving Factory will consist of two facilities: component manufacturing at the Tata Steel site at Brinsworth, and an assembly facility in the West Midlands, providing employment and regeneration.

The Indian-owned steelmaker has this week reported a write down of £500m mainly relating to the Long Products UK business in Tata Steel Europe which will now be fully impaired. A write down reduces the book value of an asset if its is overstated compared to current market values. It follows a review of goodwill, plant and property before its audited financial results are published next week.

Tata Steel website

Images: NAMTEC

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