London: Tata Steel UK today announced it has signed a definitive sale agreement to sell its 42- and 84-inch pipe mills in Hartlepool to Liberty House Group.
The sale agreement covers the 42-inch and 84-inch pipe mills, also known as the Submerged Arc Weld (SAW) mills, where about 140 employees manufacture pipeline for gas and oil projects around the world. The two mills are fed with steel plate sourced from outside Tata Steel, so the mills are independent of the company�s strip products supply chain.
Tata Steel will retain its 20-inch tube mill at the same Hartlepool site, where a further 270 people work. The 20-inch mill makes tubes for a range of markets, including construction, infrastructure and machinery. To further strengthen the 20-inch mill, Tata Steel will be making a �1 million investment to increase its capability to make high-strength steel tubes. The 20-inch mill is supplied with steel coils from Tata Steel�s European steelworks and is part of its strip products supply chain.
Bimlendra Jha, CEO of Tata Steel UK, said: �As a responsible seller we have worked long and hard to find a sustainable future for the 42- and 84-inch pipe mills. With this sale, Tata Steel UK will complete its portfolio restructuring to focus on the strip products supply chain linked to Port Talbot. The sale is also an important step towards developing a more sustainable future for the rest of our UK business.�
Both parties will be working to complete consultations with employees and trade unions, as well as the transfer of supplier and customer contracts.
The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few months.
Tata Steel will continue to be the largest steelmaker in the UK following the sale of the 42- and 84-inch pipe mills. It will employ almost 8,500 people in the UK, manufacturing advanced products for sectors like automotive and construction.
Tata Steel has invested more than �1.6 billion in its UK business since acquiring Corus in 2007, including �100m over the last year to enable advanced steel manufacturing in a number of UK sites.