Japanese packaging firm Krehalon opens £2m Hull factory
Posted: 11 September 2014
JAPANESE packaging company Krehalon has opened a £2m factory in Hull to keep up with growing demand.
The company, which previously had a base in Beverley, makes plastic wrapping for food products and has doubled in size in the past five years.
Bosses hope to continue that trajectory and the newly built 30,000sq ft site sits in enough space for further expansion.
The factory includes 600 roof-mounted solar panels – enough to generate half its energy consumption – as well as efficient lighting.
UK managing director Steve Hinchly said: "We outgrew the old factory in Beverley and the new building is about expanding for the future.
"It shows our Japanese parent company's commitment to staying in the area and providing employment in the area.
"Moving the factory from Beverley into Hull meant it was nearer to many of the employees – it was a benefit to them in terms of the commute."
More equipment is also due to arrive by the end of the year.
Krehalon has spent £300,000 on a new machine to make plastic wrap at twice the speed of present devices.
The factory in Ipark Industrial Estate, east Hull, was opened by Yutaka Kobayashi, president and chief executive officer of Krehalon's parent company, the Kureha Corporation.
The ceremony was also attended by city MPs Karl Turner and Diana Johnson.
It marks a successful five years for the firm, which is set to turn over £12m this year.
Operations are expected to continue growing by 10 per cent annually.
Mr Hinchly said: "We have tremendously expanded our customer base in the past couple of years through strategically targeting those specific food sectors that best match our product features and unique selling points."
The firm is based in Hull partly due to the city's good links with Rotterdam, where much of its source material comes from.
It means cargo sent from the continent arrives the next day.
Mr Hinchly said: "One of the key things is the Hull-to-Rotterdam ferry link.
"Products come in from Holland and we supply to food packers who put their products into our bags.
"It increases the shelf life of food."
Work at the plant is expected to begin later this month, ready for peak production in the run-up to Christmas.
The Kureha Corporation is based in Tokyo and listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.
It has annual revenues of £890m and operates advanced materials, speciality chemicals and speciality plastics divisions.
The factory site was sold through Scotts Property and developed by North Newbald firm Innovating Space.
Scotts partner Matthew Tomlinson said the decisiveness of Krehalon's management team had "undoubtedly" sped up work.
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: September 10, 2014