Plans to overhaul £600m Welsh paper mill go into consultation

A Turkish company is moving forward with plans to reorganize a 148-acre paper mill in Flintshire, Wales.

Eren Holding is consulting on the refurbishment work at Shotton Mill (pictured), which he says will make it the UK’s largest paper mill

The Turkish conglomerate said it would invest £600million in the site, which would produce 750,000 tonnes of containerboard each year and 210,000 tonnes of fabric. The containerboard will be made entirely from recycled paper.

Some of the older buildings are set to be demolished, but Eren said he would keep most of the existing complex.

Eren also said it would add 600 jobs to the 190 people already working there. It bought the site from the Finnish company UPM in May 2021.

Three planning applications will be submitted, two of which to Flintshire County Council. The third, which will be for a new combined heat and power facility, is considered a significant development of national importance and will therefore be considered by the Welsh Government instead.

If approved, the heat and power facility would provide the plant with up to 60 megawatts of self-sufficient electricity.

Shotton Mill currently produces newsprint, but a reduction in demand for newspapers has seen the number of workers drop from the current 550 to 190.

Eren said his development plan would “bridge the gap” between UK production of cardboard and paperboard and demand for the materials. Currently the UK is a net importer of both products.

“By shifting production from the declining newsprint market to containerboard and tissue paper products, the new production plant will enable the UK as a whole to be more self-sufficient in these materials, reducing reliance to external sourcing,” the company said.

Alice F. Ponder