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30th April 2024

Medical Products Firm Launches Consultation for Green Manufacturing Hub

A global medical products and technologies company is consulting on plans to create a green manufacturing hub at its South Wales plant.

Convatec’s planned project at its manufacturing site in Rhymney will feature three wind turbines and around 10 hectares of solar panels, providing a total generating capacity of around 20MW.

The company says this would significantly reduce its reliance on gas and grid electricity at its Rhymney plant, as well as at its other UK base in Deeside as the energy produced is likely to exceed the amount needed to power operations in Rhymney.

Convatec says it is also exploring how surplus energy could be used by neighbouring businesses and community organisations in and around Rhymney and is working with the local authority to look at existing demand as well as future developments. The proposed hub is being developed in partnership with local farmers.

Convatec’s products and solutions are sold in almost 100 countries. It employs around 10,000 people and has nine manufacturing facilities in total. Currently the company employs more than 800 people across its Rhymney and Deeside sites.

In 2022, 840,000 patients were treated with Welsh-manufactured Convatec dressings in the UK, whilst 3.3 million dressings were sold in Wales alone, where they routinely supply the NHS.

The firm says the green manufacturing scheme is also about ensuring a stable green future for the Rhymney plant, which employs more than 100 people, through long-term investment in clean energy for its low carbon future.

Matthew Cornish, Rhymney Interim Plant Director, said:

“Convatec has been in Rhymney for almost 40 years, providing high quality jobs to more than 100 people. Transitioning our operations to clean, green locally produced energy will improve our resilience, ensuring we can continue to produce our world leading medical products that positively touch the lives of people with chronic illness on a daily basis, over the long-term here in Rhymney.

“We are committed to supporting our local community and look forward to further engaging with neighbours, stakeholders and local businesses to continue the process of identifying opportunities for working together to achieve positive community focused outcomes.”

Since introducing its emerging proposals to the community last year, Convatec has been carrying out the work needed to deliver on these plans and is now preparing to submit detailed proposals to the Welsh Government.

These proposals form the basis of a six-week statutory consultation running until May 29.

Since the project is expected to have an installed capacity of greater than 10MW, it will be considered a Development of National Significance (DNS) by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW), with the final decision being made by Welsh Ministers.

As with all DNS applications, a Community Benefits Fund is attached to the project. Convatec says it will fully involve the community to explore how the fund of around £75,000 per year could best be used to deliver meaningful projects in Rhymney.

Convatec has organised two statutory consultation community events in Rhymney for the public to drop-in and learn more about the detailed proposals. These will take place on Wednesday May 15 between 3-6pm at Upper Rhymney Primary School and Thursday May 16 from 10am to 2pm at Rhymney Day Centre, Tre-York St.