01/06/2016

Welsh disposable beer keg supplier goes for growth with funding package from Welsh Government, UK Steel Enterprise and Finance Wales

A leading manufacturer of recyclable beer kegs is expanding its operation in Bridgend with a £170,000 finance package from the Welsh Government, UK Steel Enterprise and Finance Wales.

EcoKeg supplies innovative, high-tech plastic kegs to brewers both in the UK and internationally. A growing technology in the market, ‘one-way’ kegs eliminate the cost of return transportation and cleaning associated with traditional steel kegs; they can be recycled after use, are lighter to handle and cheaper to buy.

The company, which is based on Brynmenyn Industrial Estate, will use the finance to invest in reducing outsourcing costs by manufacturing specialist components onsite as well as developing new slim-line kegs to supply beer, cider, wine, cocktails and mineral water. The investment will also create two new jobs.

Gavin Rees and Steve Tipples, EcoKeg’s Directors, are excited about the company’s future and the potential opportunities expansion will bring, Rees said:

“One-way-keg technology is increasingly popular and a wealth of potential new export opportunities is opening up. EcoKeg has a strong market position and with the funding we’ve received from the Welsh Government, UK Steel Enterprise and Finance Wales we can implement our growth plan.

“We have ambitious plans to develop our technology, expand our product range and move into new markets. We also plan to drive down costs in our supply chain and to recruit a number of new employees as we expand,” he explained.

Welcoming the news of EcoKeg’s expansion, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said:

“This investment will help the company establish itself in the wider supply chain serving small and large breweries, while also supporting the significant growth in micro breweries in Wales as the enthusiasm for craft beers continues to grow at a pace. I am pleased the Welsh Government is supporting the funding package to enable EcoKeg to increase capacity and meet the growing demand for its products in the UK and overseas”

With an international customer base that includes over 150 customers in Wales and the rest of the UK, EcoKeg recently secured a major contract with World Wide Drinks of Cowbridge and SA Brain to export Brains’ beer to India.

Made from recyclable plastic the kegs are helping smaller micro-breweries access the export market due to the lower overhead costs.

Local Investment Executive, Leanna Davies made Finance Wales’ investment in EcoKeg. She added: “EcoKeg is an innovative Welsh manufacturer with an innovative, high-quality product, international reach and significant future potential to develop new products and move into new domestic and export markets. 

“We’re delighted to work with UK Steel Enterprise and the Welsh Government to tailor this flexible finance package. Gavin, Steve and the EcoKeg team can now build on their success, maximise their potential and secure the company’s long-term future.”

Commenting on its investment in EcoKeg, Andy Morris of Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise, said:

"We are very pleased to support this creative and imaginative company which has developed an exciting product. We wish them all every success in growing the business, and hope our investment will assist in creating jobs with this green technology."

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