THE blast furnace which reopened this year after a three-year battle to save it has just produced its millionth tonne of steel.
Thai steel giant SSI took over the Redcar plant in a £300m deal last year after it was shut two years earlier by Indian industrial group Tata with the eventual loss of more than 700 jobs.
And now bosses have toasted the production of a million tonnes of steel since the furnace was relit in April in what was seen as a symbol of rebirth for Teesside’s historic steel industry after years of decline.
Phil Dryden, chief executive of SSI UK said “Although this has been a very tough year for steel businesses across the globe, the plant has operated extremely well since the restart and this is another important milestone.
“It is a demonstration of the commitment shown by SSI UK employees and is testament to the support of all stakeholders involved in the rebirth of iron and steelmaking on Teesside.”
When it is back to full production capacity, the plant will produce around 3.6m tonnes of steel a year. The majority will head for Thailand to be used in SSI’s key automotive and white goods markets.