Tata Iron & Steel is the 9th largest steelmaker in the world, producing over 30 million tonnes (mt) of liquid steel in 2019.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
1907: Tata Iron & Steel Co Ltd established by Jamsetji Tata.
1911: Blast Furnace operation at Sachi begins.
1912: Jamsetji Tata's plant produces its first steel ingot.
1912: 8 hour day introduced to maintain employee well-being.
1920: Leave-with-pay introduced. This practice was rare pre-1940s.
1924: Tata close to closure as a result of 1920s Depression.
1951: Modernisation plan launch - with Kaiser Engineering support.
1971: Government attempt to nationalize Tata Iron and Steel Company fails.
1987: Collaboration started with Timken in bearings production.
1996: JV with Inland International - creation of Tata Ryerson.
2001: Announces closure of steelmaking in Llanwern, South Wales.
2004: Acquisition of Singapore based NatSteel for ~$486m.
2004: Creation [with SAIL] of the mjunction online trading platform.
2005: Acquisition of 40% stake in Thailand's Millennium Steel.
2005: Tata Iron and Steel Company changes its name to Tata Steel.
2005: MoU signed for 5mt integrated plant at Jagdishpur.
2007: Tata Steel wins bid for Corus against Brazil's CSN.
2007: Acquisition of controlling stake in 2 Vietnamese rolling mills.
2010: Partial mothballing begins at Tata's TCP plant at Teesside.
2011: Tata Steel's Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant sold to SSI.
2011: Llanwern hot strip mill in the UK temporarily mothballed.
2012: Blast furnace relit at former Corus Redcar steel plant.
2012: Rebuild commences of blast furnace No 4 in Port Talbot, UK.
2012: Retirement of Ratan Tata - Cyrus Mistry is new Chairman.
2013: Tata Steel Europe reports record GBP 1.2 bn loss.
2014: Plan announced to increase capacity 60% to 16 mt by 2020.
2015: Announces closure of hot strip mill at Llanwern, South Wales.
2015: Closes Scunthorpe plate mill & Dawes Lane coke plant.
2015: Discusses sale of European long product business with Greybull.
2016: Announces 700 job losses at Port Talbot in South Wales.
2016: Sells UK long products business to Greybull Capital for £1.
2016: Much discussion about sale of Port Talbot steel works in Wales.
2016: British Steel pension deficit of ~GBP £700m identified.
2016: Thyssen discussions held mid-year on merger of European assets.
2016: Chairman Cyrus Mistry sacked in October - replaced by Ratan Tata.
2017: Completes sale of UK speciality steels units to Liberty House.
2017: Sells UK tube mills in Hartlepool to Liberty House Group.
2017: Tata Steel gets regulatory approval for UK pension deal.
2018: Acquires debt-ridden Bhushan Power and Steel (India).
2018: Brussels examines European merger plan with ThyssenKrupp Stahl.
2019: Abandons proposed corporate tie-up with ThyssenKrupp.
2019: Brussels blocks ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel merger.
2019: Mothballing of Orb steel plant in Newport, UK.
2019: Supreme Court orders Mistry's reinstatement as executive chairman.
2020: Rata Tata petitions Supreme Court to reverse reinstatement order.
2020: Company prepares for fresh strikes at its Ijmuiden plant.
2020: Considers closure of Port Talbot blast furnaces.
2020: Tata Steel withdraws from membership from the Indian Steel Association (ISA).
2021: SSAB ends Tata IJmuiden acquisition talks.
2021: Court sets aside NCLAT order restoring Mistry as executive chairman.
2021: Tata Steel along with Bhushan Steel and Tata Steel Long Products rejoins ISA.
1904: Jamsetji Tata died in 1904, some years before the project was completed.
1907: Ironmaking commenced in Bihar, where rich iron ore deposits had been identified in the early 1900s.
1919: The iron and steelmaking factory in Sachi and adjacent township were later named Jamshedpur.
1912: At this time, a 12 hour working day was the legal requirement in Britain.
1996: Tata Ryerson was a joint venture that would provide industrial materials management services in India.
1987: Collaboration with the Timken Co, USA was in the setup of Tata Timken for the manufacture of industrial bearings.
2004: www.mjunction.com is an online trading and procurement platform - a joint venture of Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India (SAIL).
2007: Expansion in Vietnam by Tata Steel was effected through NatSteel Asia Pte Ltd, Tata's wholly owned Singapore subsidiary. NatSteel Asia acquired a controlling equity stake in SSE Steel Ltd and in Vinausteel Limited.
2007: Bid for Corus commenced in October 2006 with a deal signed between Tata Iron & Steel and Corus. Just 4 weeks after this deal was signed, Brazil's CSN launched a counter offer for Corus. Within a few weeks, Tata increased their original offer, which was matched within hours by a yet higher offer from CSN. Some 6 weeks later, Tata Steel won the bid - albeit at a markedly higher price than Tata's original offer.
2010: Mothballing of the Teesside plant was considered necessary after the consortium involved in a steel offtake contract [a 10-year deal signed in 2005] pulled out of the steel slab purchasing arrangement, soon after the financial and steel market crisis of summer 2008. Thailand's SSI later purchased the Teesside plant.
2011: Mothballing of Llanwern intended as a temporary measure, with HSM restart [subject to steel market demand conditions] anticipated at end-2012.
2015: With August 2015 decision to close Llanwern hot strip mill, production of HRC is to be centred on Port Talbot.
2015: October 2015 saw the mothballing of Tata Steel's Scunthorpe plate mill, closure of the Dawes Lane coke oven complex, closure of steel plants in Dalzell and in Clydebridge. Other October 2015 steel plant closures in the UK included Redcar in Teeside. In October 2015 the UK's Caparo Industries also went into administration. Cheap Chinese steel imports, a strong pound, high energy costs and other cost burdens [e.g. excessive business rates] were cited as the main reasons for these closures.
2015: In December 2015 Tata said it had entered exclusive talks with Greybull Capital to sell a number of plants including its steelworks in Scunthorpe and mills at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland. Greybull is a investment fund that focuses on business turnaround opportunities.
2016: Greybull sale in April 2016 involved the Scunthorpe steel works, two steel mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York, and associated distribution facilities, as well as a rail mill in Hayange in northern France.
2016: Q2/Q3 discussions on the sale of Port Talbot [triggered by operating losses reportedly close to GBP £1 m per day] involved Greybull Capital, Liberty House (Sanjeev Gupta), Excalibur (a Stuart Wilkie-led management buyout) and Albion Steel (Tony Pedder).
2016: October 2016 sacking of Chairman Cyrus Mistry by the Tata Board - reportedly for non-performance - set off major boardroom battles in Tata subsidiary companies where Mistry received much support from non-executive directors.
In May 2017, Tata Steel completed the £100m sale of its speciality steels business to Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Group. Ownership transfer included five UK production sites in Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Brinsworth in south Yorkshire, and smaller sites in Bolton, Lancashire, and Wednesbury in the West Midlands. It also included two distribution centres in China.
In June 2017 Tata Steel UK signed an agreement with Mr Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House group to sell two pipe mills in Hartlepool. These mills produce heavy-duty 42 inch and 84 inch steel pipes used in the oil and gas industries.
In August 2017 Tata Steel received regulatory approval for a deal to cut its UK pension scheme liabilities, assessed at GBP £15 billion. This approval was considered by many observers as likely to pave the way for a possible merger between Tata's British and European steel businesses and those of Germany's Thyssenkrupp Stahl.
The European Commission announced in October 2018 that it would investigate the proposed merger between Tata Steel's European steel assets and Thyssen Krupp Stahl. The proposed new business - Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel - would have annual revenues of about GBP £13bn and 48,000 employees across 34 production sites, and make about 21 million tonnes of steel a year. Brussels said its decision concerning this merger would be announced in early 2019.
2019: Abandonment of proposed merger with ThyssenKrupp in May 2019 was because the two firms concluded that disposals required to secure EU approval undermined the economic logic of the merger deal.
2019: Brussels blocked the proposed merger in June 2019, indicating that the tie-up between Germany's Thyssenkrupp and India's Tata Steel would diminish competition and lead to higher prices. This concern related to speciality steel used in the car industry and to coated steel used for food packaging, especially.
2019: Tata Steel announced in October 2019 that it was to close the Orb Electrical Steels plant in Newport, with the loss of 380 jobs. Orb had been loss-making for several years as it struggled to compete in the production of steels used for electricity transformers.
2020: Following December 2019 Supreme Court order about Cyrus Mistry's reinstatement, Ratan Tata in January 2020 petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse its decision, citing Mistry's apparent lack of leadership skills which brought disrepute to the Tata Group.
2020: In mid-2020 Tata Steel was preparing for fresh strikes at its Ijmuiden plant in Holland in protest against planned job cuts, as industry reeled from the impact of coronavirus.
2020: Press reports in July stated that the company was exploring plans to close its two blast furnaces at Port Talbot, and replace these with electric arc furnaces. This would assist the steelmaker in reducing its CO2 emissions; and might also assist Tata Steel in getting State Aid support. Unions were said to be concerned about such a switchover however because of the risk of mass unemployment.
2020: Departure of Tata Steel from the ISA was apparently linked to differences of opinion on mining lease policy. Specifically, the Indian government proposed to drop the distinction between captive and merchant mines, and also to reduce the term of the lease for captive mines from 2030 to 2025.
This change would have meant that Tata Steel, which owns capitive mines, would have these assets auctioned off soon after end-2025 rather than five years later. [As at 2020, Tata Steel had large captive mines spread across Jharkhand and Odisha feeding its plants at Jamshedpur, Kalinganagar and Angul. It also mined ferro alloys such as chromite and manganese for captive use].
2021: SSAB, who acquired Finnish steelmaker Ruukki in 2014, apparently commenced discussions about the purchase of Tata's IJjmuiden plant in early 2020. The Swedish steelmaker announced in January 2021 however that synergies arising from integrating the Tata Steel plant into the SSAB network would not justify the expected costs of the proposed integration.