An update on our plans for South Wales

A message from the President of CiNER Glass, Mrs Didem Ciner

It is over four months since our planning application was approved to build a glass container manufacturing facility, which uses recycled glass, at the Rassau Industrial Estate, north of Ebbw Vale.

This project promises to be one of the largest investments in South Wales for decades, and one of the top 25 UK investments for the next year, bringing thousands of direct and indirect jobs to the local area. It is part of our long-term ambition to create a world-class facility to provide local glass bottles to residents in Wales, over the whole of the UK, and across Europe.

We were extremely grateful to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council for unanimously agreeing a resolution to grant planning permission for us to build the facility and have since been working to implement the Section 106 agreement conditions, paving the way for us to prepare the site for this major development.

All industries have been hit by rising inflation and global energy prices which have spiralled over the last year – impacting a range of sectors from heavy industry to service-led businesses – and will continue to impact businesses as inflation remains at sustained levels and interest rates keep rising.

Due to rising inflation and global energy prices, we have spent the last few months refining and simplifying the design of our facility. This has included re-evaluation to make the building smaller, ensuring the plant can be more environmentally and operationally efficient, whilst also reducing the cost of the overall build. These changes have led to a slight delay in the timeline of our operations but in the long run, will allow us to better combat market volatility. We anticipate that work on site, starting with the implementation of ecological mitigation measures, will begin in 2023.

These changes will not affect the number of jobs we are looking to create at the glass plant. We remain committed to offering 500 highly skilled jobs at the facility and supporting a further 1,200 indirect jobs. Between 400 – 500 jobs will be created during the construction phase in 2024, with several hundred additional people working on site during the peak of construction.

We are committed to ensuring the facility benefits those within and close to the community. We are currently putting together brochures to help inform local people, young school graduates, and those looking for a new career, of some of the job and training opportunities we hope to bring to the area to help foster skills and expertise in Blaenau Gwent, as we become a long-term employer in the area.

Engagement is already taking place with local colleges, universities and training providers so that we will be able to provide education and training opportunities in the area over the next year. We are looking to create a 360° classroom in Ebbw Vale showing people what it is like to work in our existing factory in Turkey. This will help give groups of people who have expressed an interest in working for Ciner Glass the opportunity to experience what it would be like to work in the facility.

We have also held extensive discussions with local and regional companies to help provide us with plant essentials from across the supply chain process. This includes discussions with raw material providers, packaging and logistics companies, as well as site and equipment maintenance businesses.

As well as undertaking work to support skills, employment and local supply chains, we understand the importance of supporting the local community more broadly. We were proud to recently become the official main sponsor of Ebbw Vale Rugby Club as part of a three-year deal which will see us invest in the club’s first team, junior academy and the rugby stadium itself. We have had a fantastic first year as sponsors and are grateful to the club and its members for welcoming us into the community and allowing us to become a small part of this historic club.

We are proud of our progress to date and remain determined to ensure we help turn our vision for a world-leading glass plant in Wales into a reality.