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£2.5m harbour investment set to cement Quinn's growth

By Rachel Martin

Quinn Cement yesterday unveiled a multimillion-pound hub at Warrenpoint Harbour as part of a bid to push post-Brexit exports.

The £2.5m investment reflects a 10-year deal between the Cavan-based company and Warrenpoint Harbour Authority.

The hub will be capable of handling 7,500 tonnes at a time and will be dedicated to the export of bulk cement from the Quinn Cement operations in Ireland.

It is expected that by the end of the year 150,000 tonnes of cement will have passed through the new export hub.

The investment will support the growth of the business's operations in Great Britain and comes shortly after the firm announced a £1.3m upgrade to its cement import facility in Kent.

Quinn Cement manufactures bulk and bagged cement products for construction and other markets in the UK and Ireland.

Dara O'Reilly, chief financial officer of Quinn Industrial Holdings said: "This is an important and timely development for the business ahead of Brexit. It will allow Quinn Cement to strengthen our supply chain for bulk product, accommodate more flexible transport from our production facility in Co Cavan and enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of our operations on both islands.

"It also represents an endorsement of our working relationship with Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, who have been extremely good to work with.

"Importantly, we believe this investment will help sustain and grow jobs at Quinn Cement and underpin economic activity on both sides of the border and in the south of England."

Quinn Cement is a subsidiary of Quinn Industrial Holdings and runs a production facility in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.

Quinn Industrial Holdings currently employs 780 people.

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority chief executive Peter Conway said: "The port is delighted to consolidate the excellent trading relationship with Quinn Cement with the opening of the new export hub at the harbour.

"This investment and 10-year deal demonstrates the long-term commitment of both parties to the successful business venture and is a major enhancement to the port's trade.

"The Quinn Cement venture is a further demonstration of the port working as an economic driver creating prosperity and jobs in the local economy and the authority wishes Quinn every success in the future growth of its business."

Warrenpoint is Northern Ireland's second biggest freight port and recently announced record tonnage levels. In 2016 the port recorded 3.48m of cargo - up 7.4% on the year before. The harbour employs more than 200 people and was subject a £21m redevelopment in 2010.

The port has links to Heysham, Cardiff and Bristol and is mainly used for transporting timber, steel, grain, recycled materials and building products.

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