Government: SSI owners wanted taxpayer help for mothballed Redcar plant

Emma Haslett
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The plant was mothballed in September as steel prices collapsed (Source: Getty)

The government has admitted that the operators of a mothballed steel plant in Redcar requested an "open-ended funding commitment" from the taxpayer before it made the decision to shut down the plant last month, resulting in 1,700 job losses.

In a statement today, the government said the Thai Steel Company, which owned the plant, made a "last minute and unrealistic request for the taxpayer to make [a commitment] to maintain the coke ovens in Redcar".

However, it added that it "cannot accept the request".

"On the basis of the limited business case it was given, the government has no confidence that this is a realistic proposal for taxpayers to support. In addition, it would be illegal and in breach of state aid rules. The company has never made a profit and the board’s proposal would do nothing to address the huge debts outstanding to local suppliers and other parties."
"The Thai parent company of SSI UK has also posted on its website that it has entered 'rehabilitation' under Thai law. Clearly liquidation in the UK is a risk."
However, today the Department for Business unveiled an £80m package to help locals get back into work.

It added that it will invest £80m in the local area, providing funding for workers to train at local further education colleges, financial assistance for workers who want to start their own business, and cash for local businesses planning to provide more jobs.

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