ONE of the largest investments in Scottish engineering and manufacturing in recent years will see £36.8m invested in Superglass in Stirling.

Sergey Kolesnikov, the owner of TechnoNICOL, the largest manufacturer of construction materials in Russia and Eastern Europe, announced the €42.3m investment in the Superglass facility at Stirling’s Thistle Industrial Estate.

Glass wool insulation produced by Superglass is made from up to 84 per cent recycled glass, and is estimated to save around 300 times the amount of energy used to manufacture it.

The investment will deliver a significant growth in new fulltime jobs over the next 18 months to accommodate and fulfil the increased capacity. These jobs will be created across the breadth of the organisation, but primarily in the operations team as well as in product marketing and innovation.

This project will take Superglass beyond environmental compliance, and builds on the company recently being awarded Scotland’s first ever Sustainable Growth Agreement by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, while allowing the plant to double its output from 27,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes annually within two years.

Substantial building work will take place on the site to accommodate production equipment, including a 187-tonne furnace and curing ovens. Cooling, cutting and milling equipment will be replaced and an automatic packing system will be installed. Building work will start early in the new year.

Kolesnikov bought Superglass in 2016 through his Inflection Management Corporation vehicle, since when the business has entered into a close partnership with TechnoNICOL and is now a key regional hub for the Russian construction materials giant.

TechnoNICOL has 52 manufacturing facilities across Russia and Europe, but it is throwing its weight behind Superglass.

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA which incorporates the Superglass business, said: “TechnoNICOL’s backing is a real vote of confidence in Scottish manufacturing, both in terms of the quality of the work we do here and the expertise of the workforce.

“With this investment, we will have spent close to £50 million on this site since the acquisition of Superglass and this is a further statement of intent regarding the long-term future of our Stirling operations. By our estimations, it’s also one of the biggest single inward investments made in Scotland’s manufacturing sector for a long time. We’ve got significant growth ambitions and this investment will certainly help propel us towards achieving those goals.”

Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said: “This investment, and the jobs it will create, is excellent news for Stirling and for the wider Scottish economy. It rightly shows real confidence in the highly-skilled Scottish workforce.”

Superglass’ expansion is backed by Scottish Enterprise which committed £477,000 towards the project to deliver jobs and growth for the Stirling and Scottish economies.

Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise services at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Superglass is an ambitious Scottish company with a strong leadership team clearly focused on its long term success.

“As well as bringing new jobs and investment to Scotland, this project will also help improve efficiencies in its manufacturing processes.”