A COMPANY is investing £5.5 million in new equipment it says will help safeguard about 600 jobs at its Chirk plant.
The huge cash injection will see the Kronpspan plant fitted with the UK’s only natural authentic embossing press, a piece of machinery which will produce more natural-looking wood products such as furniture and flooring.
The multi-million pound investment is seen as evidence of Kronospan’s long term commitment to securing Chirk’s manufacturing future.
After a recent visit to the factory, Wales’ business minister Edwina Hart said she was pleased to hear of the investment in high-tech manufacturing equipment that would ensure the continued competitiveness of the site.
A company spokesman said although the investment would not create any new jobs, it would safeguard those already at the plant.
Jason Dwan, Kronospan’s works manager, said: “This level of investment is fantastic and very positive for the Chirk factory.
“We’ll be the only unit in the UK manufacturing this product, which is part of our planned structural drive to expand our share in the melamine market within the UK.
“We’ve already introduced this product, under our Natural Touch range, to the UK market from our sister factory in Salzburg, Austria.
“It has been really well received so we know there is a strong market demand for this innovation.”
The new press will be delivered to Kronospan in June and be installed and operational by August.
The new production line will have the capacity to produce more than seven million square metres of product a year, which will allow the business to serve a large UK market and open up potential export opportunities.
Chirk South councillor Terry Evans said: “This is a brilliant investment which will protect local jobs.”