Redcar's SSI steel plant celebrates first anniversary

Steel slab
Image caption The plant can produce up to 400 slabs of steel a day

Bosses of a Teesside steel plant have described it as "running exceptionally well", one year after it reopened.

Thai-based SSI bought the former Corus site in Redcar in 2011, a year after it was mothballed with the loss of 1,600 jobs in 2010.

Since the blast furnace was relit during a ceremony on 15 April 2012 more than 2.5m tonnes of steel have come off the production line.

Much of the steel has been shipped to Thailand, via Teesport.

'Grown men crying'

Phil Dryden, chief executive of SSI UK, said: "I think the plant is running exceptionally well.

"We've had very few operational problems of any significance."

Looking back over the past year, he added: "The biggest high was obviously seeing the first slab come off.

"You looked around and saw tears in the eyes of grown men, and big smiles on people's faces, and you knew how much that meant for everyone."

Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council George Dunning, who was employed as a steelworker for 30 years, said the town was now "firmly on the up".

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