Thai minister supports Tata plant sale

Corus plant in Redcar
Image caption Corus estimates steel-making could restart in 2011

The Thai government has pledged its support for SSI's acquisition of Teesside Cast Products.

Thailand's foreign minister Kasit Piromiya, visited the mothballed steel making plant on Saturday.

SSI, which is Thailand's largest steel producer, has signed a "memorandum of understanding" agreement to buy the plant.

Mr Piromiya said the move was a "big investment" and made assurances of a long term relationship.

His Excellency Kasit Piromiya met with local MPs, union officials and representatives of SSI.

He said: "You can rest assured of a continued presence of Thai business activities here, and it will be a long term relationship."

He added the proposed deal would help to strengthen historical links between Thailand and the UK.

It is hoped that if the £320m sale of the Redcar plant goes ahead steel-making could restart in 2011.

The sale could secure the jobs of 700 workers at the plant and create a significant number of new posts.

TCP was partially mothballed in February when a consortium pulled out of a deal.

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