U.K. lawmakers are set to hold an emergency debate on saving the country's struggling steel industry.

The three-hour debate Tuesday comes a day after the government suggested it could use public funds to invest in plants owned by Tata Steel, which employs thousands across the country. The company's holdings are for sale after losing 1 million pounds ($1.43 million) a day.

Several firms are thought to be interested in buying Tata's plants, including the commodities group Liberty House.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament on Monday the government was prepared to co-invest with any buyer of Tata's plants. These include the steelworks at Port Talbot in Wales, which employs 5,500 workers.

The U.K. steel industry is declining due to high energy costs and competition from China, among other factors.