Tata Steel (formerly Corus) is to invest £6.5M in high-tech equipment at its Stocksbridge plant, UK to increase production of aerospace steels.

The company will install two vacuum arc remelting furnaces and specialist testing equipment to allow it to make more special steels for the aerospace industry. The new equipment will boost Tata Steel’s output of these steels by 30%. It will also lead to about 10 new jobs.

Peter Hogg, General Manager of Tata Steel Speciality, said: “This investment will make us stronger and help secure the jobs of 2,000 South Yorkshire steelworkers. It’s a big confidence boost.”

The aircraft industry is forecast to grow strongly to cater for increased passenger numbers in emerging economies, an increase in global air freight and the introduction of new fuel-efficient planes.

Peter said: “As the demand for aerospace steel increases, it’s vital we have the ability to increase our production of this highly technical and demanding product, which is used in aircraft landing gear, engines, wings and other safety-critical components.

“Customers want higher-quality, higher-strength and superior-performance steels. This investment demonstrates our commitment to continue supplying steel to the most demanding applications in the world.

“We have 60 years’ experience of making steel for aircraft. As well as expanding to meet the needs of our existing customers in established markets like North America, we want to win more orders in emerging markets like China and India.”