Ardagh Metal Packaging secures £150 million for Northern Ireland metal can production
16 Aug 2022 --- Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP) has been granted one of Northern Ireland’s largest investments in advanced manufacturing by the planning committee of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council. The grant will facilitate the creation of a new beverage canning facility at Global Point Business Park, valued at £150 million (US$180.3 million).
AMP plans to construct the 42,585 square meter factory, resulting in the creation of almost 200 jobs, at Invest Northern Ireland’s Newtownabbey location.
According to Innova Market Insights, less than 25% of consumers in the UK believe that metal packaging (including materials like aluminum and tin) is an environmentally sustainable option in terms of its recyclability performance.
In addition, 47% of UK consumers prefer their beverages packaged in glass, while a mere 8% favor metal packaging, the market researcher shows. Despite this preference, the metal packaging company asserts that the plant will serve its growing customer base in Ireland, the UK and Europe while continuing to supply key customers Diageo and Coca-Cola.
Impact on circular economy
Metal cans, as AMP contends, are a major contributor to the circular economy because of their high collection recycling rates and considerable usage of recycled materials, which in turn serves to satisfy the environmental sustainability demands of AMP’s clients and consumers.
Furthermore, the new manufacturing plant is anticipated to generate about 160 direct employment opportunities at the facility itself, as well as an additional 30 indirect jobs through linked suppliers and companies.
In November 2021, AMP first declared its ambition to construct the facility.
Politics promoting production
Mayor of the county Antrim and the Northern Irish city Newtownabbey, alderman Stephen Ross, says that “planning approval paves the way to the borough cementing its reputation as an economic stronghold, bringing with it both investment and employment. This £150 million announcement represents the confidence investors have in the area.”
“The economic importance of this development and the benefits it will bring not just to Antrim and Newtownabbey, but to the whole of Northern Ireland, cannot be overstated.”
The choice was made after Steel Mac Distribution’s request for a £4 million (US$4.8 million) steel fabrication plant was recently approved. According to Ross, the Council is “well on track” to meet its £1 billion (US$1.2 billion) investment goal and the creation of 2,000 employment opportunities by 2025.
“Our reputation as the number one planning authority in Northern Ireland, coupled with our complete package of support for investors, gives us an edge when it comes to attracting major investments into the Borough,” he adds.
Following a period of pre-application community consultation and collaboration with the Council and Invest NI, planning approval was requested. By granting planning clearance in less than 18 weeks, the municipality further solidifies its reputation as a leading planning council and a premier investment site for large-scale projects.
David Spratt, CEO of AMP Europe, thanked Antrim and Newtownabbey Council for their support. He elaborates that the permission progresses “the creation of nearly 200 new jobs for the local employment market whilst also supporting circular economy growth.”
Ardagh across Europe
Securing investments for the expansion of production facilities has been a re-appearing occurrence for AMP in the past few months. The company recently obtained an investment for the expansion of its production facility at La Ciotat, France.
At this facility, AMP is taking care to prioritize its environmental responsibilities by reducing imports and associated CO2 emissions and installing state-of-the-art equipment to decrease electricity and gas consumption by manufacturing beverage cans more sustainably.
By Mieke Meintjes
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