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Merloni Suppliers Promise 200 Jobs in UK
May 3, 2004
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Companies supplying the UK's largest washing-machine-making plant in North Wales have announced they were creating 200 jobs for the area.

Three European companies that supply Italian-owned Merloni based at Kinmel Park near Bodelwyddan, North Wales are setting up operations close to the factory, which produces nearly 1 million washing machines a year under the Hotpoint brand.

Together, the key component suppliers plan to invest more than 16 million pounds (approx. U.S. $28 million) in new operations and will recruit 216 people.

The latest investment, along with better productivity by Merloni, will mean a Hotpoint Vogue II washing machine being made every 14 sec instead of every 38 sec.

The Assembly's Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies visited the plant near Bodelwyddan to meet representatives of the supplier companies whose new operations have been assisted by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Development Agency (WDA).

Staff from both organizations in North Wales and in Italy have worked closely with Merloni to promote investment at Kinmel Park.

"It's good to see large international companies investing in Wales," Mr. Davies said. "It's a huge boost of confidence in the Bodelwyddan plant and its quality and skilled workforce. I am pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government, through regional selective assistance has been able to help the company to strengthen its position in the competitive global market for white goods."

One Merloni's suppliers, Technoplast, which specializes in producing injection-molded plastic parts for industry, will spend 10.5 million pounds (approx. $18.6 million) to establish a production unit at Kinmel Park and will create jobs for 133 people.

Another company, Pasell, which supplies Merloni with counterweights for its washing machines, is investing 5 million pounds (approx. $8.86 million) to produce the components at a site in Sandycroft, Flintshire. Pasell will employ 68 workers.

Finally, Tuscarora, part of Sweden's SCA Global Packaging Group, is investing nearly 1 million pounds (approx. $1.77 million) to make packaging material on site. Tuscarora will employ 15 wirkers.

"We are enormously proud of our Kinmel Park factory and its 750 people, and we are delighted that this investment will see us continue to operate the most efficient washing machine factory in the UK," Marco Milani, UK CEO of Merloni Elettrodomestici, said. "We value the contribution that suppliers have made to our success, and we will continue to invest in our design and production facilities to build our market share in the UK." (The Western Mail, Wales)

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