Shotton Mill Site 0
Eren Holding plans to redevelop the Shotton paper mill in Deeside. Credit: Google Earth

Major redevelopment planned for Deeside paper mill

Julia Hatmaker

New owner Eren Holding wants to build more than 1m sq ft on the current UPM Shotton paper mill site, expand it with a 900,000+ sq ft tissue manufacturing area and a combined heat and power facility.

The aggressive plans come as the Turkish company announced its intention to pivot the plant’s production from newsprint to tissue and cardboard paper. Eren’s proposals for the site are detailed in a request for scoping opinion application, written by SLR Consulting. That application has been lodged with Flintshire Council. A full, detailed planning application is expected to be submitted for approval in December.

Shotton mill’s main 148-acre site sits off Weighbridge Road within Deeside Industrial Park. UPM created the plant in 1982. Eren purchased the site in May and is taking over the responsibility for the plant in October, once newspaper production has stopped.

Proposals outlined in the report include demolishing several existing buildings on the main 148-acre site and building new ones for cardboard paper manufacturing. The total new build development area is estimated to be 1m sq ft. Several buildings will be retained, however, including the materials recycling facility and the biomass plant. While the new buildings themselves are not expected to exceed 32 metres above ground level, several elements of the plant could exceed that – in particular the stack of the effluent treatment plant which would be 35 metres high.

Eren also said it would expand operations to a 55-acre neighbouring site. There it would build its tissue manufacturing buildings, which would total 915,000 sq ft in area. The heights of these buildings would not exceed 26 metres.

SLR described in the application how the paper manufacturing sector in the UK is one of the country’s biggest energy users, accounting for 7% of national energy demand. The proposed combined heat and power facility would help the paper plant reduce its carbon emissions by up to 30% and help it reach 80% energy efficiency. The 54,000 sq ft CHP plant would provide the plant with 50 megawatts of electricity.

The redevelopment would create more than 650 jobs, according to the report. That would boost the employee numbers from the current 190 to 853.

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