Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Barry Gardiner, MP, today welcomed the news that DuPont’s Maydown facility is to benefit from a $70m (£40m) investment the company is making to expand its global KEVLAR® manufacturing operations.
Speaking during a visit to the Maydown site, Mr Gardiner said: “This is a terrific endorsement by DuPont of the skills of employees and track record of successful innovation that have made this plant one of the most technologically advanced manufacturing facilities in the world.
“Invest Northern Ireland is providing selective financial assistance of £2.5 million towards this investment, which is also expected to create 40 new jobs in the KEVLAR® plant over the next two years. In addition, construction and commissioning work is expected to provide significant, related employment opportunities for many more.”
The Minister continued: “Maydown’s experience in the development of innovative manufacturing technology for DuPont’s synthetic fibre operations helped it to secure a significant share of a massive expansion in KEVLAR® production.
“Since its establishment in Derry almost 50 years ago, DuPont has been an important part of the North West community, creating wealth through direct employment and through successful long term business relationships with local suppliers.
“Not only will DuPont benefit from an already excellent relationship with the community, the North West will gain significantly from the new, high quality jobs that will be provided in a growing and successful technology-focused industry.
In outlining the new investment, Mr Ian Hudson, DuPont’s Advanced Fiber Systems European Director, said: “Global demand for DuPont™ KEVLAR® has soared with the need for safety and security worldwide, In addition, new applications are being developed that harness the lightweight strength of KEVLAR® fiber to enhance protection and performance. This capacity expansion is a critical step in growing the KEVLAR® business, maintaining DuPont leadership in the performance fibers market, and delivering the innovative new products customers expect from DuPont. ”
Dr David Spence, DuPont’s Maydown Plant Manager, said: “This news is a tremendous boost for the Maydown organization. It will allow us to build on the Maydown Team’s KEVLAR® manufacturing expertise, strengthen ties with the community, and further solidify our position as the global leader in performance and safety materials
The investment will provide opportunities for companies from Northern Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom in the fabrication of parts and construction and commissioning of the new equipment, as well as in the ongoing operation of the plant.