Belfast Telegraph

Kingspan deal creates 163 new jobs

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster with Noel Crowe, of Kingspan
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster with Noel Crowe, of Kingspan

By Symon Ross

Northern Ireland's ambitions to become a hub for the renewable energy sector got a major boost yesterday with the announcement of a multi-million pound expansion by a green energy firm.

Kingspan Renewables, part of the Dublin-based Kingspan Group, said a £47m investment in its Portadown facility will create 163 new manufacturing and engineering roles and will also safeguard another 152 jobs over the next five years.

The company, which designs and produces high-tech solar products for the global renewable energy sector, will make an immediate investment of more than £10m.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster made the announcement as she opened the new manufacturing facility, which is being supported by £6.5m from Invest NI.

The deal marks the second large-scale boost to the province's beleaguered manufacturing sector in the last week, following news that US giant GE is to create 104 new positions at Kelman, its subsidiary in Lisburn.

Noel Crowe, managing director of Kingspan's Renewables and Environmental division, said the opening of the site was a "key milestone" for the company's investment plans.

The minister added: "This, combined with the new jobs generating more than £5m per year in new salaries, reinforces Kingspan as an important and major contributor to the local economy."

UUP MLA Sam Gardiner said the invetment was further evidence that boosting the green economy is crucial to Northern Ireland's economic future. "I wish Kingspan well in their expansion."