08 May 2009
Corporate News
Consortium’s termination of contract triggers consultations on future of Teesside

Corus regrets to announce that it has been forced to open consultations that might result in a decision to mothball its Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant in northeast England.

This development has become unavoidable because of a failure by four international slab buyers to fulfil their obligations under an Offtake Framework Agreement (OFA).  The OFA was signed with Corus in 2004 and committed the consortium to buy just under 78% of the plant’s production for ten years.

The company has today begun discussions with employees and their representatives about what can be done to mitigate the impact of mothballing the plant on the 1,920 TCP employees and what future action may be needed.  Any decision to mothball is likely to lead to a very significant number of redundancies. 

The signatories to the OFA, which include Marcegaglia SpA, Dongkuk Steel Mills Co Ltd, Duferco Participations Holding Ltd1 and Alvory SA2, agreed to buy their share of TCP’s output at cash cost.  Over the duration of the contract so far the consortium members have benefited tremendously.  Despite this, last month the consortium unilaterally and unreasonably initiated moves to terminate the contract, thereby making the TCP operation unviable.

Corus is using all legal means to ensure that the terms of the 10-year OFA are fully enforced and that the four consortium members live up to their contractual obligations.  Alongside these actions Corus will explore alternative options that might secure a viable future for TCP and its employees. 

“I am extremely disappointed that the consortium members have seen fit to take this irresponsible action,” said Corus CEO Kirby Adams. “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.”

1 Duferco’s share of the slab offtake is purchased through Steel Invest Trading SA
2 Alvory SA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ternium SA

End

For further information please contact:

Corus Group  
Bob Jones
020 7717 4532

Brunswick Group 
Kevin Byram
David Litterick
020 7404 5959

Notes
Corus is Europe's second largest steel producer with annual revenues of more than £12 billion and crude steel capacity of about 20 million tonnes.  With main steelmaking operations primarily in the UK and the Netherlands, Corus supplies steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, mechanical engineering and other markets worldwide.  Corus is a subsidiary of Tata Steel, one of the world’s top ten steel producers.  Following the acquisition of Corus in 2007, the combined enterprise has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 82,700 employees across four continents.

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