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Final betrayal as Chinese steel is used to build windfarm near Port Talbot  

Credit:  By Louie Smith | Daily Mirror | 24 Jan 2016 | www.mirror.co.uk ~~

A windfarm being built 10 miles from a steelworks where 750 people have lost their jobs will be constructed from Chinese steel.

Workers at the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot, south Wales, were told about the redundancies last week.

It has now emerged that 76 wind turbines being built just down the road will be imported from Asia.

The news comes just days after we revealed that Royal Navy ships and new trains are set to be built with foreign steel .

Lindsay Milsom, 62, who used to work at the Tata plant, said: “It doesn’t surprise me this company is getting its steel from China. These massive firms will always put profit first.

Read more: Axed steelworkers are already facing benefit sanctions ‘for not applying for jobs in bars’

“For the people losing their jobs at Tata it is a blow, but what are they supposed to do? They won’t be getting jobs here at the windfarm – there aren’t any for local people.”

Former steelworker David Lloyd, 54, said: “Using Chinese steel to make British products in Britain really isn’t on.

“If the right steel couldn’t have been made at Tata then they should have got it from somewhere else in the UK – even if it did cost slightly more.

“It would mean that at least we were helping our own economy in the long run.”

The Mirror is campaigning to save the steel industry , which is still reeling from the news steel firm Tata is axing 1,050 jobs at plants across the UK.

Last year, it shed 1,200 posts while SSI axed 2,200 staff in Redcar, Teesside.

Local business owner Darren Nichols added: “It’s ludicrous that they’ve sourced the steel from outside the UK in the middle of this massive crisis, caused partially by Chinese steel.

“It’s a massive slap in the face for Port Talbot, and something needs to be done to stop this happening again.”

The Pen Y Cymoedd – “Head of the Valleys” – project is being built on land owned by the government body Natural Resources Wales.

The £365m windfarm has promised to generate power to 200,000 homes as well as create 300 jobs but locals say there’s little evidence of new posts being created.

The scheme is managed by Swedish power company Vattenfall, while Siemens are providing the steel.

They have subcontracted two companies, one Chinese and one South Korean, to build the turbines.

A spokesman for Siemens said: “We source both British and Asian steel, and wherever possible, we seek to use local suppliers.

“It is fair to assume that, given the industry trade, Chinese steel is currently the cheapest in the market. It is more than likely Chinese steel being used.

“One of our procurement experts believes that Tata didn’t produce the right kind of steel for fabrication of the towers, though I can’t say that he was absolutely certain.”

Siemens did have a deal with a local steel fabricator to supply the turbine towers.

But this agreement fell through meaning the contracts went abroad.

Vattenfall project director Will Wason said: “Vattenfall has contracted Siemens to supply 76 wind turbines to the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm and delivery to site is now well underway.

“Unfortunately, despite best efforts from Siemens, Mabey Bridge the former tower supplier based in Chepstow, was unable to supply steel towers to the project.

“Therefore, Siemens had to seek fabrication elsewhere.”

Fears were also growing yesterday that further cheap Chinese imports could devastate more of our home-grown industries.

If the European Union grants China prized ‘market economy’ status Britain could be flooded with products including cement and roof tiles.

Source:  By Louie Smith | Daily Mirror | 24 Jan 2016 | www.mirror.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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