Jotun paints a bright picture on the jobs front

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A PAINT manufacturer has opened a £4m factory extension, creating 31 additional jobs at its site in Flixborough – representing a 23 per cent increase in head count.

The Jotun Group’s head count at its Flixborough site was 135 before the extra jobs were created. The site opened in 1989 and this expansion represents the largest single investment at the factory. The group, whose turnover is £1.4bn, has its headquarters in Sandefjord, Norway, and operates 70 companies and 38 production facilities worldwide.

Flixborough is the group’s hub for heavy duty coatings, producing over 24 million litres of protective coatings for the offshore and industrial sectors each year.

The investment will see the site manufacture a more extensive range of protective coatings for the steel industry to prevent rusting and corrosion, increasing annual output by five million litres. The new plant was officially opened this week by Jotun’s president and CEO, Morten Fon.

The company said Jotun UK, whose turnover is £160m, has experienced “strong sales” through increased demand in the UK and from its export markets of Russia, Europe, Brazil and West Africa.

It is extending its product range from a marine base into protective coatings for the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Richard Chapman, Jotun UK’s managing director, said: “We’ve a fantastic workforce in Flixborough; motivated, highly skilled and knowledgeable. We are managing to grow our business strongly through challenging times and this will be a good boost to the local economy and against the trend.

“Our Flixborough facility is well run with an excellent safety record and we produce top quality products.

“It’s this combination of factors that has secured the additional investment and provided new job opportunities.

“To increase our efficiencies further we intend to continue to invest in UK manufact- uring.”