Posted on Thursday 16 June 2016 by Ulster Business
Pictured is Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive of Manufacturing Northern Ireland, Philip Woolsey, General Manager of Huhtamaki Lurgan and Petr Domin, Executive Vice-President (Interim) Huhtamaki Molded Fiber, who has been with the company since 1990 and once acted as General Manager at Huhtamaki Lurgan.
The parent company of one of Northern Ireland’s oldest manufacturing plants has invested £5m in new machinery, created 12 new jobs and ramped up its output of molded fiber packaging.
Huhtamaki Lurgan said the new equipment will help it increase capacity by one quarter and also expand the number of products it can offer.
It specialises in egg cartons and trays as well as cup carriers used in the food service industry and the plant has been running for 80 years.
Philip Woolsey, General Manager at Huhtamaki Lurgan, said the investment is a slap on the back for the plant by the Finnish parent.
“This new machinery not only secures jobs, but attracting such significant investment from the wider Huhtamaki Group is also a huge vote of confidence in our staff and their ability to produce a world class product in Lurgan.
“It will enable Huhtamaki Lurgan to achieve future growth in the UK market and to further improve our offering to our customers.”
The investment is one of the largest investments Huhtamaki, which is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki, has made on machinery across all its 11 plants which span four continents.
Another benefit for the plant is its increased efficiency, an issue which is increasingly relevant given complaints from other manufacturers in Northern Ireland that energy costs here are too high, a factor which isn’t lost on Hutamaki.
“This is particularly significant given that we contend with higher energy costs here in the UK than any of our global counterparts,” Philip Woolsey said. “Over the last five years we have improved our energy efficiency by more than 12% and this new machinery will help us to further enhance this.”
Petr Domin, Executive Vice-President (Interim) Huhtamaki Molded Fiber, who has been with the company since 1990 and once acted as General Manager at Huhtamaki Lurgan, welcomed the investment.
“This new machinery will be significantly more energy efficient than previous technology in the factory, and will save almost 200 tonnes of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to 80 family sized cars travelling 12,000 miles per year.
Huhtamaki Lurgan is the sole producer of egg cartons and coffee cup carriers in the UK and Ireland, supplying to a number of high profile food retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S.