Steel crisis: Who are Tata and why are they so vital to the UK industry?

Tata's UK steelmaking plants.
Tata's UK steelmaking plants.

Here is an overview of Tata - the global conglomerate and parent company of Tata Steel Europe, which operates much of the UK steel industry.

* Founded: 1868

* Turnover: £77billion

* Profit (2015): £4.7billion

* Number of companies owned: More than 100

* Total number of Tata workers worldwide: 600,000

* Number of Tata Steel workers worldwide: 80,000

* Number of countries Tata Steel operates in: 26

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Tata Steel's 13 UK plants:

1. Port Talbot: biggest site in the country, producing slab, hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel plus galvanised coil.

2. Trostre: tinplate and other packaging steels. The factory also has cold-rolling facilities.

3. Llanwern: hot- and cold-rolled strip and galvanised coil.

4. Newport: grain-oriented electrical sheet steel, produced at the Orb works by Cogent Power, a subsidiary of Tata.

5. Shotton: galvanised and colour-coated coil.

6. Rotherham: - steel, alloy and special steels are produced at a mini-mill complex, narrow strip steel is produced at Brinsworth works, and ultra-pure remelted steels at Stocksbridge.

7. Redcar: beam mill used for making heavy sections.

8. Hartlepool: variety of steel tubes.

9. Scunthorpe: bloom, billet and slab steels, plus rails, wire rods and plates.

10. Skinningrove: facilities for making special sections.

11. Corby: variety of steel tubes.

12. Walsall: coated narrow strip steel.

13. Wednesbury: bright bar steel.

In addition there are mothballed sites at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland, with facilities for rolling steel plate. Metals firm Liberty House recently agreed to buy both plants.