Steelmaker consortium's plans to mothball plant opposed by Corus chief executive

Almost 2,000 workers could lose their jobs after steelmaker Corus announced it is to mothball its Teesside plant.

Workers were given the news ahead of a 90-day consultation. It followed news from Corus that the development had become “unavoidable” due to the end of a contract with four international steel slab buyers.

The consortium signed the agreement in 2004, committing it to buy just under 78% of the plant's production for 10 years.

Corus chief executive Kirby Adams said: “I am extremely disappointed that the consortium members have seen fit to take this irresponsible action.

“Their unilateral termination of a legally binding 10-year contract could bring to an end a fine heritage of steelmaking at Teesside. We regret the distress their action will cause TCP's dedicated employees, who have worked steadfastly in the interests of the consortium.”

Corus said it was using all legal means to ensure that the terms of the 10-year agreement were fully enforced.