Three steel mills were built on the shoreline of Port Talbot south of
Swansea, Wales over the last 110 years.
The Port Talbot Works (1902-1961)
The Margam Works (1918-1963)
The Abbey Works (1951-Present)
Port Talbot works were founded in 1902 by the Gilbertson family. The mill
produced iron from imported pig iron in three cupola furnaces and ran an
open hearth shop with two furnaces.
mill was shut down due to technical problems in 1903 and reopened in 1906
by the Port Talbot Steel Company Ltd. .
Two rolling mills and a new open hearth shop were built in between 1908
In 1917 the plant became fully integrated with the construction of the new
Margam site half a mile southward. Two blast furnaces , a coking plant and
a new open hearth shop were built until 1922. In 1930 the mill became part
of the GKB (Guest, Keen, Baldwin) Steel company. Main product were plates
In 1941 a third blast furnaces became operable at the Margam site.
All three blast furnaces were completly rebuilt after WW II.
In the late 1940ies a plan to build a new huge integrated steel plant
south of the Margam works the so called Abbey works was implemented.
Centerpiece of the new site was a wide hot strip mill built by United
Engineering of Pittsburgh and partly financed by funds from the Marshall
This rolling mill became operational in 1951. A new open hearth shop
containing eight 200 ton furnaces started production in 1952. Two new
blast furnaces were built on the site in 1956 and 1959 (No. 4 & No. 5).
The Port Talbot works were closed down and dismantled in 1961 and the old
Margam site followed in 1963. Only blast furnace No. 3 survived as a
standby furnace and was relighted in 1991 for one year and has been
In 1967 the Steel Company Of Wales became part of the newly founded
British Steel Corporation.
In 1969 a new BOF shop providing two 300 ton vessels was installed
replacing the old open hearth furnaces.
The hot strip mill was widely overhauled in the late 1980ies (receiving a
new roughing stand).
British Steel merged with Koninklijke Hoogovens from the Netherlands to
form Corus in 1999. Eigth years later Corus was taken over by the Tata
Steel group from India. Blast furnace No. 4 was completly rebuilt in 2012.
Tata Steel Port Talbot
today produces hot and cold rolled flat products and supplies slabs to the
hot strip mill in Newport, Wales.