Jobs hope over steel plant deal
sTeeLWOrKers were celebrating last night after news that a huge plant mothballed earlier this year with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs is to be sold to a Thai company.
The Corus plant on Teesside was partially closed when a fournation international consortium suddenly walked away from a long-term contract to buy its products.
Hundreds of workers at the Teesside Cast Products (TCP) site lost their jobs and there were fears of thousands more losses across the region in firms that supplied Corus with goods and services.
after months of behind-thescenes talks, it was announced yesterday that plans were under way to sell the factory to ssI, the biggest steel producer in Thailand, for £320 million, raising the prospect of a “significant” number of new jobs and returning the plant to full production.
Talks to finalise the deal will continue in the coming months and will include negotiations with unions and the government over employment details as well as the prospect of financial aid.
Win Viriyaprapaikit, president of ssI, said: “We have great respect for the tradition of steelmaking on Teesside and for the highly skilled Teesside workforce, having previously purchased slab from Teesside Cast Products.
“This transaction will enable ssI to fulfil its long-standing objective of becoming a fully integrated steel producer with both melting and rolling facilities.”
He said it was too early to say how many jobs would be created, but believed it would be in the hundreds.
He also declined to say if the government would be asked for grants or other forms of aid, but said he was looking forward to discussions with ministers about a “wide range” of issues.
Corus chief executive Kirby adams said: “We are very pleased to announce this significant progress in our longheld objective to sell the TCP assets to a strategic industry investor.”
earlier this month, Corus announced it was making its biggest investment in its scottish steel plant at Dalzell in Motherwell for nearly 40 years, creating up to 60 jobs, to help meet rising demand for heavy plate products.
Boeing has pushed back the spring delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner to a Japanese airline by