Corus is to spend £185M on its No 4 Blast Furnace at its Port Talbot, UK steelworks.

The furnace is to undergo a rebuild, starting in July 2012, which will equip it with technology to improve its safety, environmental performance and reliability.

The project will increase the capacity of the two blast furnaces by up to 400kt/y. The project aims to safeguard the No 4 furnace for a further 20 years.

Corus MD & CEO of Tata Steel Europe, Kirby Adams said: “This investment is a major step in achieving Tata Steel’s ambition to position Port Talbot as a producer of high-quality strip products on a global scale and an internationally competitive cost base.

“As a result of this project the Port Talbot works and our downstream supply chain will be able in the coming decades to continue improving the quality of products and services provided to their UK and overseas strip product customers.”

David Ferris, Chair of the Multi Unions at Port Talbot, said: “This is a massive boost for the area. Following our recent announcement that we are taking on some 150 young people, this news promises them a strong future – and a sustainable future for the whole community.”