Etex to expand UK presence with £140m investment

Property & Construction | South West

The Etex Group has indicated its ongoing commitment to the UK construction industry, investing £140m in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bristol.

Etex Building Performance, the dry construction arm of the Etex Group, will develop an advanced plasterboard manufacturing facility for its Siniat brand at the Royal Portbury Dock in Bristol Port, adding significantly to its production capacity in the UK. A brownfield industrial site has been secured close to its existing plant, maximising its ability to import raw materials efficiently and sustainably via the Bristol Channel.

The investment marks Etex’s largest single capital investment to date and is testament to the group’s belief in the long-term strength of the UK construction industry – Europe’s largest plasterboard market. The new facility will serve Siniat’s customers across the UK, including projects in the residential, commercial and renovation sectors, and will manufacture the company’s full plasterboard product range. Once operating at capacity, the new plant will double its Bristol-based production of certain plasterboard products. The company’s two existing plants at Bristol and Ferrybridge will continue to operate.

Etex will work with North Somerset Council to develop plans for the new facility and will aim to start operations in 2022 subject to planning approval. The plant will be designed to the highest environmental and health and safety standards, including having the ability to use industry-leading ratios of recycled gypsum in its manufacturing operations. Etex also intends to invest in a rainwater harvesting system and a fully electric forklift fleet. The new plant is anticipated to deliver a net gain of around 50 local jobs. This will be in addition to the 330 people Etex currently employs in the Bristol region.

Neil Ash, head of Etex Building Performance (North West Europe), said: “Over the past 30 years Etex has been at the forefront of dry construction innovation in the UK, pushing for a closer relationship across the construction supply chain to improve standards and investing to develop more modern, efficient ways of building.

“This commitment to the UK construction market will not only provide our customers with better service and reliability of supply, it will also enable us to capitalise on a growing plasterboard market as clients recognise the productivity benefits that lightweight construction offers. Investing in this added capacity also strengthens our ability to develop superior building material systems for our UK customers, helping to create high-performing buildings that meet the needs of the people who use them.”

Etex Building Performance has been active in UK construction for over 30 years, supporting landmark projects like the Proton Beam Therapy Unit at Christies Hospital in Manchester and Canary Wharf Group’s Newfoundland scheme – the UK’s tallest build-to-rent development. It is part of the Etex Group, a global materials specialist.

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