- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Campaigners for a new power plant at Port Talbot steel works today delivered their petition to the National Assembly for Wales.
On the day the Assembly was recalled to discuss the Tata Steel crisis, supporters of the power plant plans handed over a 531-signature petition to the Assembly’s Petitions Committee. They claim the plant will create jobs and make the steel works less exposed to high energy costs.
Receiving the petition outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, Petitions Committee member, Labour Mid and West AM, Joyce Watson, said:
“Although it will be for the next Committee, after May’s election, to decide further action, it is obviously relevant to the ongoing and urgent situation at Port Talbot, and will help inform this week’s Assembly meetings.”
The petition was submitted in February, before Tata Steel UK went up for sale. It reads:
We the undersigned call upon the Welsh Government to use all levers at its disposal, including financial levers, to support the completion of a new power plant planned for Port Talbot steels works. The construction of this plant will create jobs and when it is operational it will reduce emissions, reduce Tata’s running costs and help to safeguard vital jobs in the area.
Assembly election campaigning has been put on hold for the crisis recall. On Monday, First Minister Carwyn Jones answered assembly members’ questions. Mrs Watson spoke about the underlining causes of the crisis and raised the plight of steelworkers at Llanelli’s Trostre plant.
Tomorrow, the Enterprise and Business Committee, of which the Labour AM is a member, will convene to take evidence from the economy minister, and representatives from the Welsh steel industry, trade unions and local government.
Tata secured planning permission for the Port Talbot power station last December. The plant would be fuelled by gases generated as a by-product of the steel-making process. At the time of approval, the company claimed it could make a significant contribution to securing the long term future of the site.