SSI coke ovens and blast furnace to be closed after no viable offer was made for Redcar plant

 
Catherine Neilan
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Workers had urged to "keep the light burning" at the Redcar plant (Source: Getty)

SSI's Redcar steel plant will be closed after no viable offers were received from potential buyers, the government confirmed this afternoon.

SSI was wound up by the high court in Manchester last week at the company's request, but the Official Receiver had kept the site running while talks took place with interested parties, in the hope that the plant could be bought in working order.

But it was confirmed this afternoon that the coke ovens and blast furnace would be closed.

The Official Receiver, Ken Beasley, said: “SSI was placed into liquidation with substantial debts and had no funds available to purchase the coal needed to keep the coking ovens operational. I have ensured the continued operation of the ovens whilst I dealt with health and safety issues and considered whether there were any viable offers for the ovens.

"There is no realistic prospect of a buyer being found and the priority now is to close the ovens down safely.

“I cannot continue to draw on taxpayers funds to keep the ovens operational when there is no realistic prospect that a buyer will be found.

“I am continuing my liquidation of the company, including talking with interested parties about purchasing the company’s other assets."

Some staff will be kept on while the site is closed down, but Beasley said that number would decline "as the closure plan progresses". The closure, which was first revealed in September, is expected to result in 1,700 jobs being lost on Teeside.

That weekend, workers had gone out on protest against possible job losses at the plant.

“I thank the staff who have been involved in the continued operation of the company and recognise the great efforts that have been put in and the professionalism shown by people in a time of enormous personal pressure," Beasley said.

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