• Abbey Works, Margam Steelworks, 2012

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Photograph of Abbey Works, Margam Steelworks. Taken by Toby Driver on 24/07/2012.

Steelmaking at the Port Talbot complex began with the Margam Iron and Steel Works, completed between 1923 and 1926 and closed in 1953.

After the Second World War, a group of south Wales steelmakers formed the Steel Company of Wales to erect a modern integrated steelmaking site using imported ore on the Port Talbot site. The new Abbey Works was planned in 1947, opened in 1951 and fully operational by 1953. By the 1960s, the works was the largest steelworks in Europe. In 1967, the company was nationalised and became a part of British Steel.

By 2000, following privatisation, the works was part of Corus. Together with Llanwern works, the plants produced up to 3.5 million tonnes of hot rolled steel strip per year. The output was taken by railway to Shotton for coating, to Trostre for tinplating, to Ebbw Vale for rolling and coating, or direct to the Midlands motor industry.

In 2007 Corus was taken over by the Tata Group. By January 2008, 3600 employees were producing some 4.7 million tonnes of steel a year, rolling about 3 million tonnes at Abbey Works and sending the rest to Llanwern for rolling.

The original four storey office block, dating from the early 1950s, still stands.

In March 2016, Tata Steel announced it would stop its steelmaking operations in Britain, including those at Port Talbot.


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