Spanish packaging group Saica submits bid for massive Newry manufacturing facility

Saica Pack is expected to invest tens of millions relocating its South Down base to Invest NI’s Carnbane Industrial Estate

Close up of corrugated cardboard with a smaller image inset of Carnbane Industrial Estate.
Spanish packaging group Saica is proposing a major new corrugated fibreboard manufacturing facility on a 25 acre site at Newry's Carnbane Industrial Estate (inset).

Spanish packaging giant Saica has formally submitted a bid to construct a massive new manufacturing facility in Newry.

The Zaragoza-based company’s UK subsidiary Saica Pack, has lodged a full planning application for the 485,000 sq ft paper and corrugated fibreboard factory on a 25 acre site at Invest NI’s Carnbane Industrial Estate.

The project, which is expected to involve an investment in the tens of millions, will see the group relocate from its current operation at Warrenpoint Harbour to the expanded Invest NI business park, next to Grant Fit Out’s headquarters and Modern Tyre’s new £5.5 million manufacturing facility.

Saica Group employs around 10,000 people across its European operations, which manufactures recycled paper for corrugated board.

The group currently operate from five sites on the island of Ireland, including Lurgan and Enniskillen.

The Spanish group has not yet announced how much it will invest in the new Newry site, but last month it announced that a similar scale corrugated board factory being developed in Barcelona would involve an investment of more than €100 million.

An architectural drawing illustrating the layout and scale of the facility Saica Pack is proposing in Newry.

In a report submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the group’s planning agents said Saica Pack had reached capacity at Warrenpoint Harbour, adding that the factory is in need of continual refurbishment due to deterioration.

“The capital costs of ongoing repairs are not financially sustainable hence the company plans to relocate,” states the report.

“There are no available lands in Warrenpoint that could accommodate the applicant hence the decision to relocate to Invest NI land in Newry.

“With a workforce in the region of 160, it is important that the company be afforded an opportunity to re-establish itself at an alternative location in the district, to guarantee its sustenance and facilitate its future growth.”

The report states that the new factory will be “modern, innovative, sustainable and long-lasting” and operate 24 hours per day, adding: “The quality of the working conditions on offer will make the company an even more attractive place to work, and the company aspires to create a prestigious building on the only available site of this magnitude within any of the district’s settlements.

“The proposal’s economic benefits are not limited to the sustenance of the company’s workforce, or its opportunity to further grow, but it can be assumed that construction costs will run to the tens of millions.”