Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 18:22 UK

Middlesbrough mayor meets owners of Corus steel plant

Corus plant at Redcar
Partial mothballing has taken place at the Redcar site

Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon has met the owners of the partially-mothballed Corus plant in Redcar to discuss the future of steelmaking in Teesside.

The day after a visit by the Prince of Wales, Mr Mallon had an hour-long private meeting with the vice-chairman of Tata Steel in London.

They discussed two potential bids for the Redcar plant, where more than 1,000 jobs were lost in February.

The factory hit problems when a consortium ended a long-standing deal.

Mr Mallon said: "I understand there are at least two bids on the table for Corus, one including Hatch Corporate Finance and another from Thailand's Sahaviriya Steel Industries.

"I understand that both of these groups have been in separate discussions with Tata.

"Personally I believe the best solution for the future of Corus would be if these two groups came together to form a single bid."

Mr Mallon's meeting with Balasubramanian Muthuraman followed months of discussions between the mayor and Tata.

The company has said it is willing to consider serious offers for the Redcar plant.

Mr Mallon added: "I want to convey that there is still a chance of saving steelmaking and everyone needs to keep focussed and keep working until either a deal is done or all hope has been extinguished."

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