The proposed re-opening of the former Corus steel plant on Teesside has been further delayed.
Owner Sahaviriya Steel Industries has announced that “due to outstanding work still to be completed on the blast furnace it will not be possible to restart the iron and steel making operations at its Teesside site on 6 January.”
The original date was 8 December but that was put back to the New Year in November.
The company has blamed the latest delay on “unfavourable weather conditions, industrial action and additional unplanned, arising work”.
Chief executive of the UK operations, Phil Dryden said: “We are disappointed that we have not met our target date for completing the work at the blast furnace but, as I have emphasised before, we set ourselves a challenging target and did not build any flex or margin into the programme to cater for the issues which have brought about this delay.
“On a positive note, the rest of the elements of the restart programme are on target including work on all the other parts of the manufacturing assets, the recruitment programme and the procurement of raw materials.”
Sahariviya Steel Industries bought the mothballed plant from Tata Steel in February 2011 in a deal worth £291m.