Foster announces £1.3million investment in new plastics firm

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced a £1.3million investment in a new Fermanagh-based company, Erne Extrusions Ltd, with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Erne Extrusions Ltd will specifically focus on the design, manufacture and distribution of environmentally friendly, moulded plastic products for the GB and European uPVC roofing markets.

Invest NI has offered £171,000 towards the investment which will help the new company generate over £2million in sales in its first three years, and create 18 new jobs by 2011.

Announcing the investment, the Minster said: “During a difficult time for our economy, which has seen local firms work hard to cut costs and sustain growth, this investment and its associated employment opportunities are a welcome and encouraging boost.

“Erne Extrusions Ltd has identified major business opportunities for its specialist product range. Key to its success will be the adoption of manufacturing processes, which rely heavily on the use of recycled materials. This will enable the company and its customers to meet increasingly stringent environmental obligations.

“The fact that a new, niche manufacturing business with strong export potential and an environmental ethos, is starting up to service demand in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Europe, demonstrates how traditional industries can and must innovate in order to compete and grow, now and in the longer term.”

Vincent McCoy, Managing Director of Erne Extrusions Ltd, said: “In distributing its range of roofing products across GB, RoI and Europe, our sister company Erneplas Ireland Ltd identified a major opportunity for a new business to manufacture a range of main roof-line extruded uPVC products.

“Even though the new business is still at an early stage, demand for items such as soffit trims, facia boards and j-trims, is steadily increasing. This is mainly due to our extensive export marketing campaign which is a key part of the investment project, and which has been supported by the tailored support we accessed through Invest NI’s Western Regional Office.”

Gerry Cadden, Sales Director of Erne Extrusions Ltd, said: “Where house building may have slowed down, renovations of existing properties are increasing as people invest more modestly in home improvements.

“By using recycled raw materials, Erne Extrusions Ltd can reduce waste, make major cost savings and deliver uPVC products which tick all the boxes in terms of environmental responsibility. We are aiming to hit the £2million sales mark within three years and are confident at least 70% of this will come from our target export markets.”