Sheerness steel plant to reopen

The Thamesteel plant on the Isle of Sheppey has been bought by the Al-Tuwairqi Group. Credit: ITV Meridian

The joint administrators of Thamesteel Limited have announced that the company has been sold out of administration to a new company owned by the Al-Tuwairqi Group.

The sale means steel production on the site at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent can re-start.

The company entered administration on 25th January with the loss of 350 jobs. It's hoped a large number of those will be re-created.

Joint administrator Rod Weston, of accountancy firm Mazars said: “This sale is very good news for Sheerness. It concludes what has been a long and painful process for all involved. At many points we feared the eventual outcome might be very bleak for the future of steel production on the Island. However, after several false dawns, we have secured a sale to the only bidder to come forward with the intention of restarting production at the plant."

“The joint administrators would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisations and individuals that have provided invaluable support to the administration process over the last four months, in particular Community Union, Gordon Henderson MP, and, most recently members of the team at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.”

Workers who lost their jobs when the plant closed faced difficult decisions, with some saying they had to choose between buying food for their families and paying bills. They also faced delays in the processing of redundancy payments.

According to its website the Al-Tuwairqi group, which is based in Saudi Arabia, was founded in 1977. It has a background in acquiring steel manufacturing companies.