Thai producer SSI set to revive Corus steelworks on Teesside

The steel giant Corus is set to sell its mothballed Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant to Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) of Thailand for $500m (£323m), ending months of uncertainty and potentially creating hundreds of skilled jobs.

More than 150 years of steel-making on Teesside came to an end in late February when TCP's blast furnace was taken offline after the four international steel companies contracted to buy the majority of its output walked away from the 10-year deal in April 2009.

But a memorandum of understanding signed by Corus and SSI yesterday offers the industry in Redcar a new lease of life as the two companies enter a period of exclusive negotiations to thrash out the details of the sale.

Both sides are keen to stress that the deal is not yet done but, if all goes well, TCP could reopen in the first half of next year. "This is great news for re-employment and economic growth in part of the North-east of England that desperately needs it," Kirby Adams, the chief executive of Corus, said.

Under SSI, TCP would return to full capacity, producing 3.5 million tonnes of steel "slab" for export to SSI's rolling plants in Thailand. The sale would also create a joint venture between SSI and Corus to operate Redcar Wharf.

Alongside talks with Corus, SSI will start discussions with the Government and trade unions. The president of SSI, Win Viriyaprapaikit, said talks with the Government would focus on "a range of issues" and it was "too early to say" whether they would include the option of financial support.

The Thai group is keenly aware of the long history of steel-making in the region. "The people of Teesside have 150 years' tradition of steel-making. Everyone is very passionate about steel-making and we have been very impressed by that and by the quality of the products they have made," Mr Viriyaprapaikit said.

He confirmed that the 700 staff left at TCP would be offered the same employment terms and conditions as in their current roles but was unable to say whether the several hundred new staff SSI would need would be offered the same terms.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, gave the move his full backing yesterday. "I warmly welcome this development, which may see the restoration of steel-making on Teesside and a huge economic boost to this region," he said. "We have made both parties aware that the Government stands ready to help as discussions on a potential purchase continue."

The deal was also applauded by trade unions representing the region's steelworkers. Michael Leahy, general-secretary of the Community union, said: "The resumption of production on Teesside will rejuvenate the local area, get people back into work and ensures a strong future for the British steel industry."

Corus claimed the memorandum of understanding was evidence that it had been unfairly criticised for mothballing TCP. It said keeping the plant open was unaffordable but it had remained committed to selling it, keeping on some 700 staff at the site's coke-making and power plant operations, which remained open, and absorbing many of the other redundant workers at other Corus plants in the region.

There had been only 30 compulsory redundancies among TCP's workforce of 2,200, Mr Adams said.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices