A new £47 million (€54 million) factory is set to open in Belfast creating over 100 jobs.
Biopax Limited, based in Springvale Business Park in West Belfast, creates sustainable packaging and labels for the food service and retail sectors.
The companies new factory in West Belfast will focus on green solutions to packaging using the latest European, US and Chinese technology.
Biopax is owned by Dr Terry Cross OBE, and its new operations will be led by Liam O’Connor, sales and marketing director and Greg Prescott, general manager.
Mr O’Connor said the investment would double the size of the West Belfast site.
“The total investment in terms of capital expenditure and the money that’s had to go in to change this facility from being a call centre into a world class packaging and labelling factory is £47 million.
“And that includes an expansion programme that’s going to take the site to the far side of our 8.4 acre land here. It will double the size of the factory, and within that we have a number of high tech, ultra high volume machinery.”
Mr O’Connor also stated that Northern Ireland’s dual market access provided by the Windsor Framework made the company an attractive supplier to potential customers in the EU and other parts of the UK.
“The Windsor framework protects our position in terms of how we source our products, but also how we supply our products to our end user customers,” he said.
“So a lot of our raw materials, in fact, I’d say about 80 to 90% of our raw materials will come from either GB or the EU. So making sure that that’s seamless, getting our raw materials does not disrupt our supply chain.
“It makes us faster to market. It makes it easier for us and quicker for us to be able to produce our products and then it gives us unfettered access back into GB and unfettered access into the EU.
“So our unique position in Northern Ireland actually makes us an attractive supplier for EU-based and GB-based customers. So that opportunity is huge for us. And we have to seize it.”
Mel Chittock, the interim chief executive of InvestNI said the new factory would create more than £5 million pounds for the local economy.
“That’s an investment by Biopax of £47 million and a brand new facility, that in turn has been supported by InvestNI to the tune of £4.69 million,” he said.
“It will help to create 169 new jobs. Those jobs are all good, experienced technical jobs, but also creates an opportunity for a large number of apprenticeships to join the company.
“This is an exciting opportunity and will generate salaries of £5.4 million for the local economy, and that in turn means 169 households will have greater levels of income as a result of this investment.”
Dr Terry Cross said the company was also investing in tech and research and development.
“Biopax was born out of a passion to develop a truly green solution for today’s packaging needs.
“The company has invested significantly in research and development and the best green technology, which along with our in-house expertise, will enable collaborative solutions to be delivered to our customers.
“We are confident that the company understands the current market and the high growth potential,” he said.