Port Talbot SteelworksEdit profile
Port Talbot Steelworks is an integrated steel production plant in Port Talbot, Wales capable of producing nearly 5 million tonnes of steel slab per annum. The majority of the slab is rolled on-site at Port Talbot and at the Newport Llanwern site to make a variety of steel strip products. The remainder is processed at other Tata Steel plants or sold in slab form. The works covers a large area of land which dominates the south of the town with the blast furnaces and steel production plant buildings being major landmarks visible from both the M4 motorway and the South Wales Main Line when passing through the town. Enough steel is produced at the site to produce 400 standard food cans per second. There has been a steelworks at Port Talbot since 1901; the original works was built by Gilbertson and situated south of Port Talbot railway station. The administrative offices for the original steelworks site now house Port Talbot magistrates' court. Today's steelworks at Margam, originally and colloquially known as the "Abbey Works", but correctly termed today as "Tata Steel Strip Products UK Port Talbot Works" was opened in 1951. Several steel manufacturers in South Wales pooled their resources to form The Steel Company of Wales and construct a modern integrated steelworks on a site then owned by Guest, Keen and Baldwins. However, political manoeuvring led to tinplate production being retained in its original heartland further west, at two new works in Trostre and Felindre. At the time of peak employment in the 1960s, the Abbey Works was Europe's largest steelworks and the largest single employer in Wales, with a labour force of 18,000. . Today the plant produces hot rolled and cold rolled annealed steel coils for a variety of different end uses including the automotive sector and domestic goods. In 1967, The Steel Company of Wales was absorbed into British Steel, which was later privatised and merged to form Corus Group. Abbey Works is currently owned by India's Tata Steel and operated by them. Tata Steel is part of one of the oldest and largest business conglomerates in India. Tata Group agreed to purchase all Corus' ordinary shares in March 2007 and the deal was concluded in April 2007. In 2010 it was announced that Corus was to be rebranded to the group name of Tata. On the extensive steelworks site, fume and water vapour from, predominantly, Coke Oven Quench towers, Sinter Plant Stacks and cooling towers can be observed from many miles away together with ignited by-product gasses from various production units. When exiting Port Talbot in an easterly direction, the Abbey Works steel products plant (which is over 1 mile long) is clearly visible. The smell of sulphur often hangs over this part of the town. Top Gear have used the Port Talbot steelworks a number of times to film. Director Terry Gilliam cited the Port Talbot Steelworks as a major initial influence in developing the movie Brazil .