Following a competitive tender, Etex has awarded the contract for the expansion of its £140 million Siniat plasterboard facility to McLaughlin & Harvey.

The contract was awarded to McLaughlin & Harvey following a multi-stage procurement process involving 21 suppliers, with the final selection being based on the company’s approach to health & safety, environmental strategies, innovation, adoption of new, cleaner technologies and social values.

Commenting on the contract, Neil Shaw, UK Country Manager at Etex said: “McLaughlin & Harvey excelled at all stages of our procurement process and fought off strong competition from other suppliers whilst facing the considerable uncertainty caused by Covid19. Since the contract was appointed, the contractor has continued to demonstrate its commitment and value as a supply chain partner for this project.”

Construction work on the Bristol expansion project officially begun on 31 March with a breaking ground ceremony where children from a local school buried a time capsule to mark the start of construction works.

Due to open in 2023, the new facility is a significant investment by Etex and demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting the future of British manufacturing, and eagerness to meet the demand for plasterboard within the UK, the largest plasterboard market in Europe.

The facility will double Etex’s Bristol-based plasterboard production capacity, which will help to meet the high demand for high quality housing materials, whilst also creating 50 new jobs and encouraging more young people to enter the manufacturing sector through the company’s Operator Apprenticeship Scheme.

The state-of-the-art expansion will also have a core focus on sustainability, utilising a rainwater harvesting system, installation points for solar PV and electric car charging stations, with the end-ambition of a fully electric forklift fleet.

The extra space will also support post-consumer gypsum recycling, helping Etex’s Siniat brand in achieving 30% post-consumer gypsum in its plasterboard by 2025.

Neil continued: “An investment of this size is a strong statement of support for Bristol, but also the UK construction market, its growth projections and growth ambitions of Etex’s UK Building Performance Division. Investing in this new facility will strengthen our ability to develop superior building material systems for our UK customers, helping to create high-performing, sustainable buildings that meet the needs of the people who use them, whilst also boosting the local economy.”