Iron and steelmaking operations at a huge steel plant are to be “paused” because of issues with the supply of raw materials and services.
SSI said preparations are being made to systematically reduce production at the site on Teesside during the course of today.
The Thai-owned firm said it would retain the plant in a condition whereby it can be brought back into production “at an appropriate point”.
The coke ovens and power station on the site in Redcar will continue to operate at a reduced level, but production at the south bank coke ovens will cease and the plant mothballed.
Around 2,000 workers are employed on the site, which was bought by SSI from Tata Steel.
Cornelius Louwrens, SSI’s UK business director and chief operating officer said: “It is with great regret that we have had to make this announcement and we are deeply aware of the concern it will give to our employees and their families.
“The problems within the global steel industry have been well publicised in recent weeks and our decision follows a major deterioration in steel prices affecting our business during the course of this year.
“Our parent company and other stakeholders have given great support to the business, and the decision to pause our iron and steel production has been taken reluctantly and in a scenario where no other practical options are available at present.
“We are taking this pause in production in order to re-evaluate and assess the situation following the outcome of ongoing discussions with our various stakeholders, including Government and suppliers.
“Discussions will be held as soon as possible with our trade unions and employee representatives to clarify the effect the production pause will have on our employees “