Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Port Hails Corus Plan

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Port Hails Corus Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: KELLEY PRICE

PORT bosses say major economic wins since Corus mothballed its Teesside Cast Products plant will help propel Teesside further up the economic ladder than before, if a takeover deal with Thai-based SSI is clinched.

Thailand's biggest steel producer has announced plans to acquire the TCP operation after signing a memorandum of understanding with Corus last week.

PD Ports, which operates a rail link between the port and the Corus site, has already described the proposed deal as "potentially excellent news for Teesside and for the wider North-east communities".

David Robinson, group CEO of PD Ports, said a string of major project announcements on Teesside will now help strengthen the region's economy even further if the SSI announcement becomes a done deal.

Big project wins and developments which have come on stream since mothballing was announced for TCP have included for Ensus' pounds 300m bioethanol plant at Wilton and Teesport's own pounds 29m expansion programme.

Sabic has built the world's largest low density polyethylene unit, in a pounds 250m investment at Wilton.

Meanwhile, Corus itself announced a pounds 31.5m wind turbine monopile factory at its Redcar site last month.

"The last few months has been a testing time for Teesside," said Mr Robinson.

"But when you look at everything that has come on stream in that time, the collective Teesside economy should be in an even better position than it was before if this deal goes ahead.

"Corus has announced its monopile facility, Sabic has invested and Ensus has come on stream.

"Add all this together and, from a steelmaking perspective, we're stronger than we were 18 months ago."

Speaking about the proposed SSI deal, he added: "There's still a lot of work to do to get this over the line, and until we know the facts we can't speculate, but we're very pleased and very encouraged by what's happened. …

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