The Turkish firm taking over Shotton Mill plans to create nearly 700 jobs in a major redevelopment and expansion of the site.
UPM announced in May that it had reached an agreement to sell its Shotton newsprint mill site to Eren Paper Ltd – a subsidiary of Turkish industrial conglomerate Eren Holding.
Now Eren has submitted a proposal to redevelop and expand the site – moving from newsprint to producing container board and tissue products as well as building a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant.
They say the combined operations would bring more than 850 jobs to the site, where currently up to 190 workers are employed.
A scoping request has now been submitted to Flintshire council ahead of a planning application for the major redevelopment, which would see some of the existing buildings demolished.
It would be a huge jobs boost for the region.
The scoping report by SLR says: “Analysis of the UK paper industry shows that the UK is currently a net importer of both container board products and tissue products, while at the same time being a net exporter of recycled (waste) paper.
“The proposed development is intended to close both these gaps by increasing production at the site, thereby allowing the use of more recycled paper, with the proposed new cardboard paper production facility using 100% recycled paper.
“At the same time, by switching production from the declining newsprint market to the new production facility will allow the UK as a whole to be more self-supporting in these materials, reducing reliance on external supply.
“It is intended that Shotton will become the second largest container board campus in the UK, and that when completed Shotton’s new container board machine will be the largest and most technologically advanced paper mill in the UK.”
They added: “Existing operations currently employ approximately 190 people. The proposed development would require a substantially greater number of people, including existing staff who will be transferred to the new manufacturing facility as much as possible.”
The report adds: “As from 1 October 2021 Shotton Mill Limited will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Eren Group.
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“The Eren Group is a well-established, family-owned resources management company based in Turkey, employing over 8,000 people with annual turnover in excess of EUR 1.8 billion and total assets of over EUR 2.1 billion.
“The company has been looking for a suitable site in the UK to expand its paper and packaging division. They are delighted to have acquired an established paper production site, albeit that significant capital investment is required to change the type of paper produced and bring the building and plant up to modern sustainable standards.”
The scoping request for Flintshire County Council and PINS Wales (Planning Inspectorate) asks them to provide an opinion as to the information needed in the Environmental Statement (ES) that will accompany the planning application.