Our Commitment to Welsh Innovation
By Mark Cichuta

Author: Mark Cichuta-Senior Advisor to Ciner Glass Wales

As part of our plans to develop a world-leading glass bottle manufacturing facility and recycling centre at the Rassau Industrial Estate, we want to ensure that this project delivers for local business and Welsh innovation.

Over the period of our site being in operation, we intend to move to using over three quarters of recycled glass, contributing to the circular economy of Wales and demonstrating our commitment to the environment. However, we do not want to stop here and are currently looking at how our new site in Wales can be a further world leader. We have already started working with universities to see how Welsh mathematicians, materials and technology researchers and students can support us in this drive to be the most advanced glass facility in the world.

We have a proven track record of innovation, already producing one of the lightest bottles in our facility in Turkey but want to take this further still. We are looking to develop new glass recipes and production techniques to make our products both lighter in weight but still just as strong. Universities in Wales and the UK will play a huge part in helping us to deliver these world firsts, and the expertise they can bring to our work is hugely valuable to us. Similarly, as part of CiNER Glass’ commitments to the local environment, we are working to develop alternative production methods with a focus on renewable energy resources where possible. Again, we want to work with universities and furnace, technology suppliers to help us deliver this brand-new innovation.

As part of this work to build up new relationships with local universities, we want to ensure that the students in those universities are able to benefit from this partnership as well. Our new plant will bring around 600 new highly skilled jobs to Blaenau Gwent. We want local graduates to see CiNER Glass as a fantastic career offer within their community. Ebbw Vale has a proud industrial history of innovative manufacturing, and we are passionate about restoring this. Our local team will have a lifelong skill in a company they can work with for decades to come – retiring knowing that their children or grandchildren will also have access to the same opportunities.

Beyond the jobs we will create directly, we are also very keen to reach out to local manufacturers and supplies in helping our operation run. Once we are at full production, we anticipate needing a regular supply of glass quality sand. The convention would be to source this from Egypt or Belgium but are already looking at partnering with UK companies and local universities to help provide raw material, packaging material, and transportation services at the Ebbw Vale site. We also have a need for small local businesses to support us in areas such as pallet supply in our packaging.

As our plans develop, we are passionate about involving as much of the local community as possible, be that schools and universities or neighbouring businesses and suppliers and we look forward working with Welsh-based companies who have the same passion for the county as us.