Tenneco-Walker’s second factory in the Heads of the Valleys – which is to create 220 jobs – has been officially opened by Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart.
The multi-million pound investment in the new facility on High Point, Dowlais Top, Merthyr, was backed with business finance from the Welsh Government which secured the project for Wales.
Tenneco-Walker, part of Tenneco Inc., a global US headquartered company, has already created over 100 jobs at Merthyr and is set to create an additional 120 jobs for which it is currently recruiting. Tenneco’s Tredegar factory employs just under 190 people.
Both sites manufacture motor vehicle exhaust systems for car manufacturers and the decision to increase capacity follows the award of business for new and replacement exhaust systems.
The Minister said:”I am delighted to open this new factory and to hear that so many jobs have already been created. It is great news for Merthyr, great news for Wales and a very welcome addition to our strong manufacturing sector in Wales.
“I congratulate the company, the local management and staff on the very rapid expansion of the business in Wales. This project was only announced in May and just a matter of months later it is a fully functioning factory.
“Tenneco-Walker’s decision to open another factory in the vicinity reflects the productivity, loyalty and calibre of the staff they employ. It is a major vote of confidence in Wales and I am delighted that support from the Welsh Government helped encourage the investment here as other locations were under consideration .”
The new Merthyr factory is 13,500 sq mts – twice the size of the Tredegar plant – and the expansion will help increase manufacturing capacity to meet orders for new vehicles being produced in the UK by Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and Nissan. To date £5.4m has been invested on the expansion project to upgrade the premises and install new facilities and equipment
Plant manager Jonathan Williams said:“Tenneco has invested in a world class, fully functioning factory with excellent employee facilities and the very latest equipment.
“Support from the Welsh Government strengthened the business case to bring this investment to Wales and we can now look forward to a more secure future with a strong order book. We anticipate both factories will be close to full capacity at the end of next year.
“Jaguar Land Rover, one of our key customers, is going from strength to strength and we are delighted that a large number of their vehicles are fitted with Tenneco exhaust systems that are made in Wales. We are excited to have also won business to supply a new generation of systems to Renault and to General Motors for its new Astra model which launches next summer.”