Iron and steel-making at SSI’s plant on Teesside are being suspended over problems with the supply of materials, the company says.
SSI stepped in and has been running the plant since it was mothballed in 2010 and the business says it is “determined to create a safe, successful and sustainable business” there.
But it has run into financial problems amid a collapse in demand for steel – with SSI UK refusing to comment on media claims it was behind on some debt repayments.
The unit of Thailand’s Sahaviriya Steel Industries employs 2,000 people directly and is the UK’s second-largest producer of steel behind Tata.
But UK production has been threatened by a strong pound and cheap imports amid a glut of steel available because of the slowdown in emerging market economies, especially China.
The Community Union warned earlier this week that a “lack of support from the UK Government in vital areas such as energy, environmental and business taxes and procurement threaten the very future of the UK steel industry.”
Local MPs have joined the union in urging ministers to provide financial help but the Government has said that while it will do all it can, its powers are limited by EU state aid rules.
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