A TECHNOLOGY body hopes to forge greater global links after welcoming a European steel producer.

The Materials Processing Institute (MPI), near Middlesbrough, played host to visitors from ThyssenKrupp.

Professor Hans Ferkel, Dr Jens-Ulrik Becker and Dr Stefan Petry, from ThyssenKrupp’s steel business, toured the MPI’s facilities and discussed potential partnership opportunities.

The visit, led by Chris McDonald, MPI chief executive, included an insight into its metals research laboratories and pilot plant.

Mr McDonald said: “We have enjoyed longstanding working relationships with many of the world’s leading steel producers, and this latest visit highlights our intentions to engage with and support industry leaders with our expertise.

“It was a huge honour to welcome ThyssenKrupp to our facilities, as we look to develop international ties and opportunities with global partners as the industry transforms.”

The MPI previously revealed a five-year agreement with British Steel, which bosses said will see it provide research and development for the latter’s rail and construction goods.

British Steel was formed out of Tata Steel’s Long Products division last year and includes the Teesside Beam Mill, near Redcar.

Earlier this week, The Northern Echo revealed Caterpillar has switched some operations to British Steel’s Skinningrove special profiles plant, in east Cleveland, after being encouraged by the firm’s progress.

Caterpillar has been based at Skinningrove since the late 1990s and uses steel from British Steel’s neighbouring plant to make track shoes for excavators and bulldozers.