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Dryden's departure has "come as a shock"

The man who steered Teesside's blast furnace through the worst crisis in its history will step down at the end of the year.

The announcement that Phil Dryden is leaving his role as SSI's UK Chief Executive came this afternoon, November 20. He will speak to the media tomorrow.

The Lackenby works was mothballed in 2010 with the loss of 1,600 jobs, before being bought by Thai firm SSI. Phil Dryden was contracted to complete its three-year start-up plan.

His role will be assumed by Win Viriyaprapaikit, the Group's CEO.

Paul Warren, Multi Union Chairman.

Phil Dryden to leave SSI by March 2014

The Chief Executive responsibility will be assumed by Win Viriyaprapaikit, SSI Group CEO.

The company says Phil Dryden will take on a new role as a Business Consultant until March 2014.

"Phil has made a tremendous contribution to get us through the business start up phase – with key accomplishments such as the recruitment of a new workforce; the setting up of business processes; the licence to operate permissions; establishing relationships with key stakeholders; the refurbishment of the mothballed assets and the successful restart of the operations.

"This was followed by the refining of post start up business processes and operations, and the successful commissioning of the PCI plant – leading the business towards stabilisation.

"It was always envisaged that the task would take approximately 3 years and therefore Phil’s contract had been constructed around that timeframe. Phil has accomplished all of that and it is now possible to reconfigure the Group organisation to allow SSI UK to fit into the portfolio of other operating units within the Group.

"Until the end of his contract, Phil will continue to work with us to make the transition in a seamless, structured way and continue to advise us as a consultant.

"We would like to thank Phil for his leadership and contribution through the last three years and wish him success in his future endeavours."

– Win Viriyaprapaikit

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Multi-million pound coal plant to 'secure 1,800 jobs'

The Pulverised Coal Injection plant goes online at SSI in Redcar next week. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A new £38 million facility hoping to safeguard Teesside's steel industry and secure 1,800 jobs is due to be launched.

The Pulverised Coal Injection plant goes online at SSI in Redcar next week. It will fire powdered coal into the blast furnace, making millions of pounds in savings.

Much of the coal used will be mined in Durham's pits. It is hoped the facility will help the furnace make a profit for the first time since 2011.

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