South East Wales

Production returns to former Alphasteel in Newport

Steel production at the former Alphasteel plant in Newport has resumed.

Mir Steel UK said 80 employees began a partial re-start on Monday and the firm had plans to take staff numbers to 140, dependent on demand and orders.

Union Community said it would be a "bittersweet moment" for former workers who tried to keep the site going.

Around 400 workers were sent home days before Christmas 2007 when the site's former owners went into administration.

The hot strip mill at the plant has capacity for a million tonnes a year.

In May, the new Russian owners, who renamed the new company Mir Steel UK, advertised in The Argus newspaper that it wanted to create up to 100 new jobs in the site by the end of the year.

Community union regional director Rob Edwards said: "This is a bittersweet moment for any Community members.

"While we welcome the resumption of production on the site, many former workers at Alphasteel will remember the struggle to keep Alphasteel as a going concern.

"However, Community union is happy to welcome Mir Steel UK to the ranks of British steel producers and looks forward to developing a healthy and beneficial partnership."

Meanwhile, Celsa said 100 people working at its sections mill in Cardiff have been asked to take a week's leave at the end of August as part of their annual 33 days leave.

A spokesman said the workers had not been laid off, adding: "Obviously business is difficult at the moment as it is for any other company."

The Tremorfa plant employs just under 500 people.

More on this story