Monday, 14 December 2009

Teesport counting the cost

The full extent of job and volume losses at Teesport following the partial closure in the new year of its biggest customer Corus’s plant is still unknown.
A spokeswoman for Teesport owner PD Ports said it would hold talks with Corus following the steel producer’s announcement on 4 December that it planned to mothball Redcar Blast Furnace, Lackenby steelmaking and the South Bank Coke Ovens at the end of January.
However, Corus said it intended to keep open a number of operations, including the Redcar Wharf, Redcar Coke Ovens and some of the power-generating capacity.
In July, PD Ports wrote to workers to tell them it may make up to 120 redundancies because Corus had threatened to close Teesside Cast Products and because of recession-related volume reductions.
The spokeswoman said: "The news is extremely disappointing, but given previous announcements by Corus and the lack of a positive conclusion to discussions with potential offtakers and investors in TCP, it is not especially surprising.
"The 120 job losses quoted in July when Corus announced that part of the Corus TCP site would be mothballed, was prior to the restructuring activity that our business has engaged in over recent months.
"Additionally, the growth in areas such as the container handling operations at Teesport will help us mitigate some of the impact on our employees. But further work needs to be concluded.
"Until we receive more definitive information from Corus on the implications of this closure, it is too early to understand the level of impact the announcement will have on PD Ports, but this is not good news."
Last week, Teesport announced it had handled more than 100,000 containers in a single year for the first time.
It had also recently announced a new contract with shipper Taylors of Harrogate to handle more than 1,000 containers of imported tea and coffee a year, and Taiwanese container line Evergreen has started to deliver containers to Teesport following the opening of a Tesco’s distribution centre there.
In July, PD Ports welcomed UK government approval for it to build a woodfuelled power station at Teesport, which would bring in an extra 2m tonnes of traffic when it opened in 2012.
Last month, it was confirmed PD Ports had been sold by Babcock and Brown Infrastructure to Brookfield Asset Management.

No comments: