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Engineering students at Redcar & Cleveland College say they feel 'more optimistic' about securing jobs in the area after SSI relit the blast furnace to restart steel making on Teesside.
The first steel to be produced in Redcar for two years has left the production line.
Workers at the SSI site looked on as it made its way across the floor. The slab will be made into a permanent memorial to recognise the people who fought to reopen the steelworks.
The first shipment of steel is expected to leave Teesside in the next three weeks.
The first slab of steel made on Teesside in more than two years is due to be produced today. The blast furnace in Redcar was re-lit on Sunday, after being mothballed in 2010.
Phil Dryden hopes the blast furnace will be at full capacity by Christmas.
Redcar's blast furnace was re-lit yesterday, bringing steel-making back to Teesside after a two year absence. A ceremony was held to mark the occasion at four-thirty pm. It was attended by workers, SSI management, union leaders and also the partner and son of Geoff Waterfield.
Mr Waterfield was instrumental in bringing steel-making back but, sadly, died last August before his dream was realised. His son, Wills, performed the ceremonial re-lighting with a blazing lance.The first slab of steel is expected within the next three days.
Steelmaking is back on Teesside.
The iconic blast furnace has been relit in Redcar after a billion pounds has been invested in the site, and 1600 people now have jobs.
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It's hoped the decision by the Thai steel maker to come to the North East could encourage many more companies to do the same.
The first Teesside steel made in two years is expected to be ready today. The blast furnace was re-lit on Sunday, after being mothballed.