Image: Artist’s impression of new plasterboard factory at the Port of Newport, image courtesy of Knights Brown.
Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading and best-connected port operator, has celebrated the commencement of a project to build a new plasterboard factory at the Port of Newport, which will help create around 60 new full-time jobs in the area.
The new facility will be used to store gypsum, which will be delivered by ship before being used for the manufacture of plasterboard. This will eliminate the need to transport raw materials from the port to an in-land factory by road, which will help reduce CO2 emissions.
Furthermore, the factory will benefit from green power generated by ABP’s on-site renewables, including wind and solar sources.
As part of the project, ABP, together with a number of European-based inward investors, has invested around £23 million to create the new manufacturing facility in Newport. Welsh Government has also contributed £750,000 in support of the project.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “This major investment in Newport is great news and a real show of confidence in the area.
“Wales remains a strong location for investment and I am delighted our long-term efforts with key partners have secured the development of this state-of-the-art manufacturing centre. This will create high quality employment opportunities and be crucial in supporting of our construction sector.”
Construction of the new factory is planned to commence in April 2021 and will be delivered by Knights Brown, a company based locally at Bridgend.
Andrew Eilbeck, Divisional Director for Knights Brown, said: “The design and construction of this sizeable manufacturing facility will be a flagship project both for us as a Wales-based regional contractor and our local supply chain partners.
“We’re very happy to be working with ABP in the Port of Newport, building on our successful relationship established both locally in Wales and elsewhere in the UK, which we feel is testament to our collaborative approach to project delivery. We look forward to making a start on construction next month.”
Andrew Harston, ABP Director for Wales and Short Sea Ports, said: “We’re delighted to welcome this inward investment opportunity to the Port of Newport, as the first major project in our port-centric manufacturing strategy.
“This project, which combines the use of brownfield development land, deep water shipping, rail transport and renewable energy is a fantastic example of the solution we can offer. We look forward to working with our contractor Knights Brown to deliver the facility, which will create around 60 jobs for the regional economy.”
This project demonstrates ABP’s capability to deliver flexible port-centric manufacturing and distribution solutions to customers, whilst minimising costs and carbon emissions.
Ralph Windeatt, ABP Group Head of Business Development, added: “By working closely with our partners at Newport City Council and Welsh Government, we have been able to attract this inward investment opportunity to the port, creating valuable jobs for the region.
“Port-centric manufacturing and distribution has the potential to reduce cost and carbon in our customers’ supply-chain by reducing the need for in-land transport, additional handling and building a more sustainable supply chain at the centre of arterial transport networks. We believe that port-centric solutions will create opportunities for significant future investment and business growth around our ports.”