The Anonymous Widower

Why Is There No Mention Of York Potash In The Discussion Of Redcar Steelworks?

This detailed article on the BBC entitled What is the outlook for Britain’s steel industry? starts like this.

It is being billed as a top level crisis summit. Government ministers, unions and steel company bosses are heading to South Yorkshire to discuss what can be done to help an industry hit by tough global market conditions.

UK steelmakers say it’s getting harder to compete because of high energy costs, green taxes, the strong pound and cheap Chinese imports flooding the market. Compared to foreign competitors, steel unions warn the cost of making steel in the UK is too high.

The recent closure of SSI’s steelworks at Redcar in Teeside, with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs, has brought into sharp focus the difficulties facing the industry. The Thai firm said a slump in demand for steel was behind its decision.

At other steelworks across the country, from South Wales to Scunthorpe to Rotherham, union leaders says thousands of jobs are hanging in the balance. So what’s next for the UK’s steelworkers?

But with regard to Sirius Metals and the creation of one of the world’s largest potash mines and processing facility; York Potash, there is not a word.

I’m afraid that in a few years there will be little steel-making in Europe, let alone the UK, as other countries with lower costs will undercut Europe on price.

On this page of the York Potash web site, there is an impressive video about the mine and its processing facility.

This must be one of the hopes for the future for Teeside.

I can remember the development of the earlier potash mine at Boulby, when I worked at ICI around 1970. This section is the history of the Boulby mine, and it would appear to have a future. The potash is removed to Teesport, using a reopened section of the Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway, which used to connect Middlesbrough to Whitby, in addition to the still operating Esk Valley Line

In contrast the York Potash ,mine will use an underground conveyor to move potash from South of Whitby to its processing facility at Teesport.

There is still another railway in the area, which is the heritage North Yorkshire Railway, which connects Whitby and Pickering. According to this section in Wikipedia, it has ambitious plans to connect to the York to Scarborough Line, thus giving the possibility of steam services between Scarborough and Whitby.

I believe that the Tees Valley Metro can be developed.

Like many places in the UK, I believe that services on all the lines from Morpeth and Newcastle in the North to Middlesbrough, Darlington and Whitby in the South could be run using Aventra IPEMUs with a small amount of selected electrification.

Which brings me to the conclusion that Redcar steel works will be closed and Potash mining and a developed Tees Valley Metro will be better for the area, than pouring millions down the black hole of the steelworks.

October 16, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

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