PLANS for a new £390 million glass-making plant in Ebbw Vale which could create more than 1,000 new jobs have beebn given the green light in what has been hailed as “a great day for Blaenau Gwent”.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s planning committee today – Thursday, June 16 – councillors approved the proposal by Turkish firm, CiNER Glass Ltd  to build a factory making glass containers at the Rassau Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Ebbw Vale,

The project is expected to  create around 600 highly skilled jobs at the site – with up to 500 more jobs created during the building process.

Claims have been made that the factory could support another 1,200 jobs in the supply chain.

Rassau and Garnlydan councillor Gareth Alban Davies said that two years ago he had been part of a fact-finding mission to one of the company’s factories in Turkey, and spoke in favour of the proposal.

The National Wales: Ciner Plans Graphic

Picture: Ciner

Cllr Davies said: “We saw the furnaces and the production lines, and I was impressed by what I saw.

“I wouldn’t argue with anyone who said my house is the closest to the site, it’s certainly one of them.

“When I came home [from the visit] I wasn’t bothered having that factory built so close to my home – and nothing has changed that opinion.”

Cllr George Humphreys said: “Wow – we’ve been deprived as a community for such a long time.

“We’ve been a proud industrial community and over the years made products that have been recognised worldwide, so to bring something like this to us is fantastic.”

The National Wales: Ciner Glass Plant  1 - - they hope to build the plant at the Rassau Industrial Estate, Ebbw Vale.

An artist's impression of part of the glass plant

Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “This development will give us a sustainable community in the long term, there’s no greater input to people’s health and wellbeing than to have gainful employment – it’s a great day for Blaenau Gwent.”

Cllr Hodgins pointed out that preparation work on the project had been done under the previous Independent administration and had done “everything to alleviate fears” and congratulated all the council staff who had worked on the project.

“The one overarching thank you is to the CiNER group who feel that Blaenau Gwent is a place they can invest in,” said Cllr Hodgins.

The application was supported unanimously.

After the meeting Executive Board member of CiNER Glass Ltd, Didem Ciner said: “We are extremely pleased to have received approval to move forward with our exciting plans to build and operate our new glass bottle manufacturing facility in Ebbw Vale.”

Mrs Ciner added: “This is the first step towards building a world-class facility in the heart of south Wales and we cannot wait to begin making our vision for Blaenau Gwent a reality.”

MORE NEWS:

The factory, which will be called the “Dragon Glass Bottle Manufacturing Facility,” will consist of a four-part operation for the production of glass containers: melting and forming; the handling of raw materials; inspection, packaging and warehouse.

Some residents had raised concerns over some aspects of the application, including around pollution, noise, and road issues, but, speaking after permission was granted, planning committee chairwoman Cllr Lisa Winnett said she believed the final application had addressed all of these.

"I am confident that the detailed conditions applied to the permission can negate the concerns raised, and can give assurance from the committee and the council that we will closely monitor compliance from the developer during construction and when the facility is operational,” she said.

CiNER Glass intends to supply glass bottles to UK food and drink producers, with a vision to build a world-leading centre of engineering excellence in glass technology in Wales.

The company hope to start producing glass on site in 2026.

Plans for the factory include:

  • Two furnaces with associated filters.
  • Two 75-metre-high chimney stacks.
  • Two production lines for hot and cold processing, inspection, and packaging of glass bottles including workshops and storage areas within the process building.
  • Office/welfare buildings including canteen, infirmary and changing facilities.
  • An automated warehousing facility.
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) store
  • Back up fuel storage facilities.
  • Several buildings for storing materials, rejected and recycled glass.
  • Hard standing for delivery and staff parking.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber