Ball Packaging fights to restore production at fire-stricken beverage can site

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags United kingdom

Ball Packaging fights to restore production at fire-stricken beverage can site
Ball Packaging Europe has suffered a fire at a UK beverage can production facility, and insists it is still evaluating the damage with a view to restoring the massive plant to full production as soon as possible.

North Wales Fire & Rescue Service crews were first called to Ball Packaging Europe’s beverage can plant in Wrexham, North Wales early on Sunday afternoon, July 22rd 2012, and brought the fire under control by 4.12pm.

Ball Packaging said there were no staff injuries and no adverse environmental impacts, adding that details regarding the cause of the blaze and the extent of the damage were as yet unknown.

Accidental electrical fault?

A statement from North Wales Fire & Rescue Service on Sunday evening initially stated that the fire was believed to have begun in a specialist industrial curing oven, but a spokeswoman told today that the service now believed an accidental electrical fault caused the blaze.

She told"We sent six appliances there. With factories like this we have a pre-determined attendance, so many of these appliances would be mobilised regardless.

"Altogether we had six appliances there, and a special additional aerial platform, which is an appliance with a long ladder on it, used to throw water down from the top."

"External experts and employees are currently evaluating the damage to be able to restore the plant to full production as soon as possible. The company believes that it will be able to almost fully offset the temporary production loss by drawing upon stocks and shifting production to other locations," ​Ball said in an online statement.

Major UK customers

The Wrexham site employs 210 staff and produces around 2bn cans per year, mainly for soft drinks and beer. UK customers include Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), and Britvic, where the latter has an exclusive agreement to produce and sell drinks such as Pepsi in the UK.

The fire-stricken site is one of three Ball production plants sited in the UK and one of 12 across Europe: the UK, France, Holland, Poland and Serbia.

Rugby in Northern England is Ball's other UK can production site, while the company produces can ends at another Welsh plant on Deeside, close to the Wrexham plant.

Ball Packaging Europe was unavailable for comment at it's German headquarters we went to press, while an operator who took a call at the Wrexham plant refused to comment on the seriousness of the fire, asking to phone back later on.

"There's no one available to talk now. As you can imagine things are a bit difficult here at the moment,"​ she said.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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