Jobs boost at steel plant

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GOOD news for job seekers in the Whitby and Esk Valley areas comes with the announcement that the giant SSI steel plant in Redcar is to recruit 1,000 workers.

The plant, which has had a chequered history in recent years, was bought by the Thai firm Sahaviriya Steel Industries which is injecting a total of £1.6 billion including the original purchase price of £320 million to get it up and running again.

The plant is expected to reopen within the coming week although two previous dates announced for its restart, one in December and then, when that failed to materialise, again in early January have both come and gone without it happening.

Causes for the failure to get it up and running again were blamed on a variety of problems including bad weather, union action and the vast amount of work needed for its repair.

Despite the difficulties the firm’s chief executive Philip Dryden praised an army of workers on the site who have checked every valve and pipeline.

He said they have not only replaced and repaired everything necessary but have ensured the work keeps pace with an expensive new lining installed in the furnace which is intended to last for the coming fifteen years.

Mr Dryden said: “There is great satisfaction with what has been done but the hard work is out on the site where an army of workers have been making this happen.”

Around a total of 1,000 workers will be recruited when the plant becomes fully operational.

Many people in Whitby and the surrounding area were traditionally employed at the plant.