Foster officially opens £3.2million bottling plant in Ballymena

Copyright: Harrison Photography

Arlene Foster is pictured at Nampak Plastics in Ballymena with David Dobbin, Dale Farm and Jamie Tinsley, Sales Director, Nampak Plastics

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today officially opened a new £3.2million bottling plant in Ballymena which has created 20 jobs.

Plans for the Nampak Plastics Europe Ltd facility, located at the Dale Farm liquid milk factory in Pennybridge Industrial Estate, were announced last year. Invest NI has offered £254,000 with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The in-plant facility has already begun production and has the capacity to make more than 100million bottles a year. As well as servicing Dale Farm’s current production requirements, Nampak will be targeting new customers in the Republic of Ireland.

Officially opening the plant, the Minister said: “This new facility sees a multinational company establish a base in Northern Ireland, bringing with it a successful and sustainable business model.

“The company was the first in its field to set itself a target of including 10% recycled plastic in every milk bottle it produces. Nampak’s approach of setting up in-plant bottling facilities also minimises its carbon footprint by reducing the need for transporting bottles.”

Arlene Foster added: “It is significant that the Invest NI support includes an element of assistance for implementing a comprehensive training programme for the plant’s new employees.

“Building the skills of our workforce is a key component of our Programme for Government and this approach will benefit both the company and the economy in the long term.”

Nampak is a leader in the manufacture of high density polyethlylene bottles for the food and drink industry. It has eight plants in England and Scotland which together produce more than two billion bottles a year.

Jamie Tinsley, Sales Director, Nampak Plastics, said: “This investment is in line with our strategy of securing long-term contracts for large volumes of bottles. We are seeking to broaden our geographical base and recognise that Northern Ireland offers an excellent platform from which to target the Republic of Ireland market as well as servicing the local market.

“We are confident that this investment will yield a profitable return and will be looking for opportunities to grow our customer base across the island of Ireland.”