Revival project

Arup to lead £ 600 million transformation of Shotton Paper Mill

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Built environment consultancy Arup has been appointed to lead the transformation of the Shotton Paper Mill in Deeside by the owner of the Eren Holdings site.

Arup has announced that the transformed state-of-the-art facility will produce up to 750,000 tons of cardboard each year and will also have the capacity to recycle all wastepaper generated in Wales. The redevelopment is set to create 660 jobs as part of a £ 600 million investment in the area. The site is expected to be fully operational by 2024, with the Arup-led team providing project management, design and engineering expertise for the final phase. The expansion will include a container board machine building, new warehouse and dispatch facilities, a combined heat and power boiler building. Subsequent phases of the project will include a corrugated packaging factory and tissue factory. It was previously agreed that the Shotton Renewable Energy Generation Facility and Materials Recovery and Recycling Facility (MRRF) would continue operations throughout the conversion process, in line with their role in the regional utility infrastructure. As explained by Andy Pennington, associate director at Arup, «This development will create one of the most technologically advanced paper mills in the world. It exemplifies what’s best in sustainable development, bringing significant investment and new jobs to the Deeside area – as well as significantly increasing recycling capacity for this part of the UK».

Shotton Paper Mill was founded in 1983 by Finnish bioindustry company UPM. Until 2020, the Mill recycled paper and sorted other recyclable materials at its on-site materials recovery facility.

On 26 August 2020, the site’s long-standing owners, UPM, revealed its plan to sell the Deeside mill, which had been producing approximately 250,000 tons of recycled newsprint per annum. According to UPM, the reason behind this was the «continued long-term decline in graphic paper demand combined with weakened economic outlook».

It was subsequently reported that the production of the paper machine would be converted to produce another material, such as lightweight cardboard.

In May 2021, UPM signed an agreement to sell its newsprint mill site in Shotton to Turkish cardboard business Eren Paper Ltd. Subsequently, production of newsprint at the site came to an end in September 2021, when Eren Paper Ltd began converting the site.