Kilkenny and the South East has received a major boost with news of an investment of almost E60 million.
The money will be used to upgrade and extend the existing SmartPly wood panelling plant at Belview Port in south Kilkenny. Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney visited the factory which is owned by Coillte yesterday and confirmed the strategic investment of E59 million with Kilkenny man and Environment Minister, Phil Hogan also on hand.
Minister Hogan emphasised the huge, positive knock-on effect the investment would have locally, copper fastening the timber industry around Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.
“This is one of this region’s most important industries. It will underpin the local economy and support 160 direct and 250 indirect jobs. These are local, sustainable jobs that will lead to a spend in the local economy. This is how we will bring our economy back to sustained economic growth,” he said.
He added that over 100 new jobs would be created during the construction phase and that a small number of new jobs would come on stream at the facility once work was completed.
“The message from SmartPly is that it is going to add significantly to our exports and will ensure the long term survival of this key industry in Kilkenny and surrounding counties,” Minister Hogan said.“The government can continue to support industries like SmartPly by creating the environment where they can create much needed jobs. The proximity of Waterford Port at Belview is a vital resource to SmartPly to allow them to drive export growth,” he added.
SmartPly OSB is shipped through Belview and Rosslare Ports to a host of global destinations, offering environmentally sustainable timber based solutions for a wide range of structural and non structural applications.
SmartPly is a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to plywood suitable for structural and non structural applications with unrivalled quality and environmental certification, manufactured from locally grown sustainable forest resources.