ASK Chemicals, a company of international repute in the chemicals sector, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has presented the project it is undertaking in the Port of Bilbao industrial zone. Here it will centralise its production due to the Port being a strategic outlet for the south-east European market.
The event was attended by ASK Chemicals CEO for South Europe, IñigoZarauz, the Chairman of the Port Authority of Bilbao, AsierAtutxa, the Deputy General of the Territorial Council of Biscay, UnaiRementería, and the Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Autonomous Basque Government, ArantxaTapia.
The company, dedicated to the production and distribution of foundry products, has 30 establishments in 25 countries. ASK Chemicals has three production plants in northern Spain – one in Castro Urdiales in the Cantabria region, and two in the Basque Country: the first in Idiazabal (Guipuzcoa), and the second in Artziniega(Alava), which will be consolidated into a single industrial complex in a10,000m² industrial unit in the Port of Bilbao.
To avoid supply issues for customers, the move to the new facilities will take place in several phases. The first includes the transfer of part of the Castro Urdiales operations, and all of the Idiazabal and Artziniega facilities will commence their move at the beginning of April and conclude at the end of 2016. Basically, there will be two actions in parallel: inside the unit, the present facilities will be adapted to productivity and safety needs for the initial production of paints, couplings and other foundry products; outside, work will be carried out on raw materials tanks, access and goods transport roads as well as services facilities in accordance with current legislation.
In 2017-18, foundry resins, which are at present carried out at the Castro Urdiales plant will be transferred.
The anticipated initial investment for the first phase is 6 million
euros. That figure will rise to 10 million euros by the time all the phases are complete.
At present, ASK Chemicals employs 80 staff in the three plants. However, the company not only intends to retain all existing members when the move to the Port of Bilbao is complete, but also to expand its workforce to around 90 – 100 employees in future successive phases.
The decision for the move to one plant was motivated by the company’s growth strategy and the need to concentrate the operations and staff in its three Spanish locations in one plant, and also by the incorporation of other new essential elements to guarantee the future of ASK Chemicals in the Basque Country.
One important reason for choosing the Port of Bilbao was its prime geographical location, its great number of maritime lines allowing any market to be reached and the installations offered by the Port Authority, in addition to the support of the Biscay Territorial Council and the Autonomous Basque Government. Furthermore, the new plant will enable the company to provide better distribution services to neighbouring countries, thus making it a reference inside the ASK Chemicals Group.