Schlumberger facility on the market as firm prepares to leave Northern Ireland
A massive industrial unit in Co Antrim belonging to Schlumberger has gone on the market after the oilfield services firm ceased production there over the summer.
The company, which is headquartered in France, announced in February that production would cease at its Newtownabbey operation in June with the loss of around 200 jobs.
The facility manufactured high precision equipment such as flow control valves and multi port packers for the oil and gas industry. Now the two large buildings used by Schlumberger in the Monkstown Industrial Estate have been advertised for sale or to let, with the company set to vacate the 15-acre site next month.
Chartered surveyors and property consultants McConnell said it has been instructed by Schlumberger to sell or lease the manufacturing facility. The portfolio on offer includes a 127,000 sq ft building and a second 38,000 sq ft premises, along with 290 marked car parking spaces.
The property firm said there is room for expansion at the site.
The Unite union responded to February's announcement by stating that Schlumberger had rejected a local management counterproposal which they claimed offered a way to save some of the jobs on site through production diversification.
"The proposal would have resulted in a significant increase in operating utilisation rates but was rejected by a corporate management who remain intent on offshoring production to low cost centres in Mexico and China and back to the United States," said the union.
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Schlumberger said it had not taken the decision to close the Newtownabbey facility lightly.
"Multiple options and proposals were considered," said a spokesman. "Due to the prolonged industry downturn, we have had to restructure our manufacturing organisation in line with current and anticipated future activity which has resulted in closures in the Americas, Europe and Asia."
Meanwhile, another industrial unit has also come on the market, in Moira, Co Down. The 15,000 sq ft unit over two levels is located on the Old Kilmore Road.
Estate agency group Robert Wilson said the rental price is available on request.
And in Belfast, a new restaurant opened in Custom House Square is being offered for sale as an investment opportunity.
Cafe on the Square opened just two weeks ago with a 10-year lease for the unit, which generates around £30,000 a year in rent.
Expressions of interest are also being invited for a one acre site at Girdwood Park in the Cliftonpark Avenue area of north Belfast.
The greenfield area next to Girdwood Community Hub is being marketed as a development opportunity.