The Royal Navy has placed a contract for 80,000 tonnes of steel on Tata Steel-acquired Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus. The steel will be used for the construction of two new aircraft carriers that will be inducted in 2014 and 2016.
Corus Construction & Industrial beat-off rival steel makers to win this contract. The UK-based Corus will produce the steel at three plants in the UK, of which one is located in Scotland.
Corus, Europe's second largest steel producer with annual revenues of over £11 billion and a crude steel production of about 20 million tonnes, will supply more than 80,000 tonnes of structural steel for the two carriers, which will be the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.
The £3.8bn state-of-the-art carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are due to enter service in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Corus will start rolling steel for the aircraft carriers later this year. Corus' Scunthorpe and Dalzell steelworks will produce plate steel for the ships' hulls, while the manufacture of bulb flats - steel used to stiffen the construction will be made in Skinningrove.
The two new carriers, which will replace three smaller carriers, will be built in sections and re assembled at a naval dockyard in Scotland.
Corus has been supplying high quality steel to the shipbuilding industry and has produced steel for the manufacture of the world's largest cargo ships. Corus was formed on 6th October 1999 through the merger of British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens.
On April 2 2007, Corus became a subsidiary of Tata Steel, after the premier Indian steel company beat Brazilian steel maker CSN, with an offer of 608 pence per ordinary share in cash, amounting to a purchase price of $12 billion. (See: CSN blinks at 603p, Tata Steel bags Corus for $12.11 billion) The UK-based steel maker's shares stopped trading from 29 March 2007 and the company's financials have been consolidated with those of Tata Steel. The combined enterprise has an aggregate crude steel production capacity of around 28.1 million tonnes with approximately 82,700 employees across four continents.
Last month Corus announced an investment of £60 million - its largest since the acquisition by Tata - to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at its Port Talbot plant by reusing gas generated inside its basic oxygen steel furnace that produces around half the energy needed to run the steelworks.
Corus produces carbon steel by the basic oxygen steel making method at four integrated steelworks in the UK.