The Bristol expansion will double site capacity and will have a core focus on sustainability.
Lightweight construction manufacturer Etex is set to double the plasterboard production capacity of its Ferrybridge plant upon the opening of its new factory in 2023.
Work is well underway for the new 57,000m2 Siniat facility, which comes at a time when plasterboard and timber shortages continue to put pressure on the supply chain.
The new facility is a significant investment by Etex and demonstrates its commitment to supporting the future of British manufacturing, as well as its eagerness to increase reliability of supply and meet the growing demand for plasterboard across the UK, the largest plasterboard market in Europe.
Neil Shaw, Country Manager (UK & Ireland) at Etex, said: “The extension of our Bristol facility will significantly increase our production capacity in the UK, at a time when our plasterboard solutions are in high demand which is currently outstripping industry supply availability.
"We’re extremely confident that the underlying upward trend in demand for our product will continue, so being able to produce and supply it in significantly larger quantities will be crucial, not only to the growth of our business, but also in supporting the wider construction industry’s growth challenges.”
In addition to increasing supply reliability and local manufacturing capacity for plasterboard products, the major investment into the former brownfield site will contribute to the local economy by creating more than 50 new jobs at the site.
The business will also use the expansion to encourage more young people to enter the manufacturing sector through its tailor-made Operator Apprenticeship scheme, designed to meet future skills requirements.
The Bristol expansion will double site capacity and will have a core focus on sustainability, utilising a rainwater harvesting system, installation points for solar PV and electric car charging stations, with the end-ambition of a fully electric forklift fleet.
The extra space will also support post-consumer gypsum recycling, helping Etex’s Siniat brand in achieving 30% post-consumer gypsum in its plasterboard by 2025.
As demand for its plasterboard products grows, the plant’s proximity to the Royal Portbury Dock will also allow Etex to seamlessly import raw materials for its products via the Bristol channel.
Shaw continued: “An investment of this size is a strong statement of support for Bristol, but also the UK construction market, its growth projections and growth ambitions of Etex’s UK Building Performance Division. Investing in this new facility will strengthen our ability to develop and supply superior building material systems for our customers, helping to create high-performing, sustainable buildings that meet the needs of the people who use them, whilst also boosting the local economy.”
In line with its focus on sustainability, Etex has also agreed to contribute £10,000 towards pedestrian and cycle improvements to improve access to the site.