The investment, to be made over the next three years, is designed to improve operating efficiencies and to reduce the plant’s environmental impact.
A spokesman for the company told FoodProductionDaily.com: “We are trying to improve systems focusing on sustainability and environmental impact through introducing more effective CO2 emissions capturing systems. This award will allow the company not only to do more but to do it more quickly.”
Ardagh’s chief executive Niall Wall added: "We appreciate the continued support of the Scottish Government, Scottish Executive and Scottish Development in helping us improve the sustainability of our manufacturing operations.
"This funding will ensure significant CO2 reductions and also ongoing efficiency improvements at our Irvine plant, helping to secure local employment."
He also added: "As we increase our marketing investment in the largest European countries and work towards completing the regulatory approval process in the US, the strategic reorganisation of our operations in Prestwick and Didcot will ensure the most effective use of our facilities."
The third biggest glass manufacturer in Europe, Ardagh operates mainly in the spirits industry and produces more than 13bn glass containers a year and employs 6,500 people across 20 plants in Europe.
Long term manufacture
A statement issued by the Scottish government said that the award “…will safeguard the jobs of 248 workers at the plant and ensure facilities are upgraded to secure the long term manufacture of glass in the town.”
Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond said: "This investment shows Scotland has a high quality manufacturing base and is testament to the talent, skills and experience of the Ayrshire workforce. I am delighted that companies such as Ardagh Glass and Lombard Medical are showing support for staff by continuing and expanding their presence in Ayrshire.”
Previous RSA grants have helped encourage 22 companies to invest in the area which have safeguarded or created 1,343 jobs related to projects with capital investment of £120m.
The Scottish government’s award to Ardagh Glass is part of a £16.3m RSA investment programme.