Corus plans to sell Teesside unit to Thailand's SSI for $500 million

Corus, the European subsidiary of Tata Steel today said that it will sell its mothballed Teesside Cast Products (TCP) unit in the UK to Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI), Thailand's largest steel producer, for about $500 million (£321 million).

The UK unit of Corus said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SSI for the sale of TCP unit in north-east England, which includes coke ovens, power generation facilities, sinter plant, blast furnace and steelmaking facilities.

The proposed sale, if successful, would create a significant number of new jobs at the plant in addition to TCP's existing workforce of over 700 and will provide a considerable boost to the local economy.

Nearly 1,700 people had lost their jobs when Corus, Europe's second biggest steelmaker announced in December 2009 that it would close the loss-making TCP unit after an international consortium failed to honour its long-term purchase contract. (See: Corus to shut plant in north-east England, cut 1,700 jobs) 

This month, Corus said that it would take back 200 workers from the TCP unit after unveiling plans to construct a new £31.5-million manufacturing plant to produce wind farm structures on the TCP site. (See: Corus to set up wind farm components plant at Teesside) 

After the international consortium backed out from the long-term purchase contract, Corus had been trying to secure external orders on an ad hoc basis in a bid to keep the plant running while an alternative future for the plant was sought.