The UK's largest steelworks is facing 'crunch time' over reducing carbon emissions, a professor has warned.
According to a report by the BBC, there have been warnings that Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant could be closed if a deal isn't reached for subsidies to reduce carbon emissions.
Tata Steel said it was committed to cutting its impact on the environment and climate change.
Professor John Gibbins, director of the Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre, said carbon capture and storage would allow the plant to make low or zero-carbon steel beyond 2050, and although the technology could cost up to £1bn and take years to implement, it would save jobs.
"This is crunch time, if that plant gets closed then God help us."Professor John Gibbins, director of the Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre
He said: "This is something that will preserve jobs, real jobs. What needs to be done, is for the Welsh government first of all to latch onto the idea.
"This is crunch time, if that plant gets closed then God help us."
However, Cardiff University Business School economics professor, Calvin Jones, said carbon capture would not work at Port Talbot and would add ‘significantly’ to steelmaking costs, stating that 'carbon capture and storage has not been proved at commercial scale - for fossil energy generation or industry.'
"In the case of Port Talbot, there is simply nowhere near to store the carbon.''Calvin Jones, Cardiff University Business School economics professor
"In the case of Port Talbot, there is simply nowhere near to store the carbon. Newly leased UK storage sites are all in the North Sea.
"This will require either an entirely new CO2 pipe-distribution network, or a fleet of CO2 carrier ships to take Port Talbot's CO2 to where it can be geologically stored.
"Either will add very significantly to steelmaking costs."
Tata Steel has said that it is committed to cutting its impact on the environment and climate change, stating that its ambition is to produce net-zero steel by or before 2050, and to have reduced 30% of CO2 emissions by 2030.
A spokesman said: "The company continues to make progressive strides in reducing the environmental impact of its processes through innovation, investment and collaboration.
"Additionally, its steel products remain critical not only for UK manufacturing supply chains, but also in the UK's transition to a green economy."