PD Ports export new slabs from Teesport to Thailand
The first slabs produced by SSI UK have now been exported from Teesport to Thailand. SSI President, Win Viriyaprapaikit was among the guests at a rainy Teesport in May as the latest chapter in Teesside steel’s rebirth was celebrated.
The ceremony, which was also attended by many of the region’s press, took place as the first 48,000 tonnes steel slab, worth some £18m were loaded on to the Blue Fin vessel destined for Thailand. Mr Win symbolically smashed a bottle of champagne against some of the steel slab to launch the commencement of loading.
This investment signals a tremendous boost to the industrial and manufacturing capability of this area and will no doubt boost Teesside’s capability to be seen as a place to invest, develop and produce product for global markets.
David Robinson, PD Ports’ Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “The rebirth of steel making on Teesside will go down in history as one of the great engineering achievements of the 21st century. There is a 160 year history of steel making on Teesside. It has a great heritage for the area and this investment by SSI will secure this for generations to come. Just think of the party they will have when it gets to 200 years.”
This whole investment, which is expected to create over 5,000 jobs in the Teesside area, is a far cry from the events two years ago when the blast furnace was mothballed. Over the next few years this whole operation will become one of the leading facilities in the world to produce and ship steel slab.
“We are going to see some 10m tonnes of additional cargo on the river both import and export product, we have already recruited some 80 people to help handle this product and likely more to come and we will invest alongside SSI to create a truly world class facility for handling their product. The prospect of handling some 3.5m tonnes of finished slab and maybe more a year is exciting and presents a great future for this area. SSI both in Thailand and UK can be assured that PD Ports will be here in support for many years to come,” concluded Mr Robinson.
And the story doesn’t end there. The next slab shipment will see the export of some 88,000 tonnes of slab, which is the biggest shipment in Teesport’s history.
Before the ceremonies ended there was a surprise for Mr Win with the presentation of a specially commissioned Mackenzie Thorpe original, known as ‘New Life, New Steel’. The renowned artist, originally from Middlesbrough, spoke of his deep gratitude that “the phoenix has been brought out of the ashes.”
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