Steelmaker Corus has secured the future of 1,700 jobs in the UK after signing a £3.5bn deal to lock in sales of British-made steel to a Swiss-led metals consortium.
The consortium will buy about 30 per cent of the output of the Teesside steelmaking plant in 2006 and 2007, and about 75% for the next eight years. The companies in the group will use the slab in their own plants – for instance for rolling into sheetmetal for use in washing machines or cans – and sell any surplus.
Teesside produces 3.4 million tonnes of unprocessed steel a year, but this could rise to 4 million tonnes with extra investment.
Workers at Teesside welcomed the news as it ended worries about whether the plant might be closed.
Tony Poynter, chairman of the Teesside works multi-union committee, said: “Teesside steelworkers have got an early Christmas present.”