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WRAP investment in increased paper recycling at the Shotton Paper Company

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Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development
I am sure that all members will have been pleased by the announcement last week that the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will invest up to £23 million as part of an overall £128 million investment in new paper recycling capacity at the UPM-Kymmene (UK) Ltd, at Shotton in Flintshire.

WRAP

With its partners, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Executives, DEFRA and DTI, the Welsh Assembly Government has established WRAP to increase the use of recycled material in Britain. While welcoming this investment, I do not for one moment forget the enormous challenges faced by Wales in a competitive global economy. I was very disappointed to hear Sharp announce yesterday that 300 staff will be made redundant at the company’s manufacturing operation in Llay between April and October this year. I recognise the contribution Sharp has made to the North Wales economy and regret the announcement. Officials, WDA and ELWa will work closely with the company and unions to do all we can to maximise opportunities for those who have lost their jobs.

We will continue to work closely with companies across Wales to help them innovate, become more competitive, and to encourage further investment. In the case of the WRAP investment, an arms length company has been set up specifically to develop a recyclates market which will work by removing barriers to the use of recyclates and where appropriate funding new recycling capacity.  

WRAP has four current priority areas: paper, plastic, wood and glass.  Its first major project will make a dramatic increase newsprint recycling in the UK.

Shotton

Following a closely contested competitive tender WRAP has announced that the project will go ahead at the Shotton Paper Company in Flintshire.

The Landfill Tax Credit Scheme and public sector grants will provide £23 million between them. UPM Kymmene, the Finnish parent company of the Shotton plant will fund the remainder of the £128 million investment.  The scheme is still subject to EU state aids clearance, but together with WRAP and UPM Kymmene I am hopeful that this will be no more than a formality.

The project will provide an additional 300,000 tonnes capacity for recycled paper by 2004.

I am very pleased that the Shotton Paper Company has won this important contract from WRAP.  Not only will the new plant that the contract will fund help secure jobs in North Wales but the new paper recycling capacity will complement the new waste strategy for Wales.  

Wales waste strategy

WRAP sits firmly within the objectives of achieving more sustainable waste strategy management. The Minister for Environment will publish the new waste strategy for Wales later this spring.  This will emphasise the need to increase the level of recycling, particularly of paper, and WRAP fits with the commitment that we have both in targets backed by resources to deliver recycling in Wales.

This project, delivered through WRAP’s programme, is a good example of the proactive approach Government is adopting both in Wales and across the UK to increase the level of recycling in our economy and to reduce the lost opportunities and potential environmental damage arising from our current waste management methods.