The Guardian has reported that Tata Steel UK & British Steel running Britain’s four remaining steel blast furnaces are likely to be offered GBP 600 million in government support to help fund the switch from coal and invest in lower-emissions technology. As per report, UK’s Chancellor Mr Jeremy Hunt is expected to confirm GBP 300 million each for British Steel and Tata Steel in an announcement as soon as this week, although the timing will depend on them accepting the offers. It is understood any government support would be conditional on the companies also committing to investing in the plants themselves, and will be tied to environmental investments in order to comply with state aid rules. Labor Party’s MP for Aberavon, home to the Port Talbot steelworks, Mr Stephen Kinnock said “While news of the UK government’s forthcoming investment is welcome, the reality is that it will just act as another sticking plaster for an industry that needs a level playing field in order to compete internationally in the long term.” GMB national officer Ms Charlotte Brumpton-Childs has welcomed the aid, but added that “Ultimately, this is a sticking plaster. It does nothing to address the wider issues in the industry: catastrophic energy costs and a grossly uneven international trading environment.” The steel industry is one of the most difficult to decarbonize because of the huge energy requirements and the use of coking coal in iron smelting, a process that emits carbon dioxide directly. China’s Jingye British Steel and Tata Steel are looking at how to upgrade their plants from burning coal to electric arc furnaces, which heat recycled metal using electricity that can in theory come from zero-emissions sources. The companies’ plants employ thousands of workers with two furnaces each at Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire and Port Talbot in south Wales respectively.