New Delhi: Tata Steel, Europe's second largest steelmaker today said it has won a contract to supply rail tracks and steel sleeper plates to UK-based Network Rail for at least five years.
“Network Rail, the company set up to operate and maintain Britain's rail infrastructure, has chosen to source more than 95 per cent of its rail from Tata Steel until 2019, with the option to extend this until 2024,” Tata Steel said in a statement.
The deal will account for around 5 per cent of the annual steel output from Tata's Scunthorpe site, the company said without disclosing the financial considerations of the deal.
The contract could see Tata Steel, which employs 18,500 people in the UK, supplying more than a million tonne of rail, including premium products for Britain's passenger and freight lines.
The company has invested over £160 million in its advanced rail manufacturing facilities at Scunthorpe site since 2000 to enable it to produce 216-metre long rail customers want besides transforming manufacturing logistics to handle customers new long rail products requirement.
The Chief Commercial Officer of Tata Steel, Henrik Adam said: “I am delighted the rail network in Britain will continue to be made and maintained with our UK rail. This contract win has been made possible by our continued drive to be more customer focused...”
This contract is a clear demonstration of the contribution foundation industries like steel make towards rebalancing the British economy, Adam said, adding that the company is supporting high-skilled manufacturing jobs, developing innovative new products and services besides helping to build infrastructure for the 21st century.
Every day more than 3 million people in Britain travel on trains. The British rail network carries 1.5 billion passengers every year — more than at any time in over 60 years.
Network Rail's Group Finance Director, Patrick Butcher, said: “We are renewing and enhancing more and more of Britain's railway over the next five years and it's crucial that we have a trusted and secure supply chain to help us achieve that safely and efficiently.”
The European operations of Tata Steel, whose main steelmaking sites are in the UK and the Netherlands, comprise Europe's second largest steel producer.
The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world's largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 29 million tonne and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.