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Talks continue on Redcar future

Talks on the future of SSI UK’s steel works are continuing but the coke ovens could stop running by the end of the week, liquidators have said.

Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK (SSI) has been wound up in the High Court and the Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator. It is continuing to talk with interested parties about the future use of the site.

Enough coal will be bought to keep the Redcar coke ovens going until the weekend so that any interested party could purchase the assets in working order.

Staff remain on-site to maintain the ovens. A decision on buying further coal to keep the ovens operational longer will be taken at the end of the week.

It is understood that once the coke ovens stop running, the cost of restarting operations at the plant would be increased, making this less likely.

SSI staff have been sent letters on how to make an online claim for redundancy pay. Whitehall has announced funding of up to £80m for the local community, including training for the 1,700 workers who have lost their jobs and financial assistance for small businesses.

The Insolvency Department said that creditors would be contacted to discuss supply to the site. It added that anyone supplying goods or services to SSI for which they had not been paid would be a creditor in the liquidation.

David Kelly, Toby Underwood and Ian Green from PwC are assisting the Official Receiver as special managers.

SSI UK stopped operation of its Redcar plant at the end of September and then went into liquidation. Scrap metal merchants told MRW that some suppliers would be hit hard by the closure.

Meanwhile, steel prices in the UK have fallen to their lowest rate for five years, according to statistics from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The price index for structural steel stood at 87.5 as of August 2015, with the 2010 price set as 100 on the index.

Steel prices have been below 2010 levels for six consecutive months, with August’s rating marking only the second time the index has dipped below 90 since 2010.

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