LONDON Jan 31 (Reuters) - Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK will restart the blast furnace at its Teesside steel plant in the UK within the next few weeks, the company said on Tuesday.
The UK fully owned subsidiary of Thailand's Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) has now commenced heating up stoves of the blast furnace and the process will be completed in the next few weeks, it said.
"We have made good progress on the project during January and over 90 percent of the work is now completed," Phil Dryden, SSI UK chief executive said in a statement.
"I am looking forward to us completing the remaining work over the next few weeks."
SSI bought the mothballed Teesside steel plant about a year ago from India's Tata Steel.
Tata Steel had decided to idle the plant and put it up for sale due to weak market conditions and after a long term contract with one of its large European customers fell through.
SSI had initially planned to restart the Teesside Cast Products integrated mill by the end of 2011 but this was delayed due to factors such as unfavourable weather and industrial action, it said.
The plant has annual steel slab production capacity of 3.6 million tonnes per year.