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Michelin to upgrade Scottish tire plant

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DUNDEE, Scotland—Michelin, with the backing of the Scottish government, plans to invest $21 million in its factory in Dundee to upgrade the plant for larger-sized tires and to reduce its environmental impact.

Included in the equipment upgrade will be the installation of electric curing technology, which will help make the site more efficient and expand the range of tires it is capable of manufacturing, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at a ceremony held at the 45-year-old car and light truck tire plant.

Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's main economic development agency, is committing $5.7 million toward the project in the form of an Environmental Protection Grant, with Michelin investing the rest.

The investment/upgrade is expected to yield a reduction in CO2 emissions related to the plant and its output by 7,140 metric tons a year, Scottish Enterprise said.

Sturgeon called Michelin's investment a "testament to our thriving manufacturing industry and its position as a key growth sector for the economy. Their continued commitment is proof of the skill and value of the Scottish workforce."

The project is not expected to create any new jobs, but will help protect the 850 existing jobs at the plant in Dundee, a port town at the mouth of the River Tay.

"…this investment in making the next generation of fuel-efficient tires is another great example of a highly innovative company," Sturgeon said.

Factory Manager John Reid acknowledged Scottish Enterprise's "fantastic support" for the investment, which "represents a very important step forward for the factory and forms part of a much bigger investment to transform the plant."

Michelin did not comment on the project's impact on the plant's capacity, which is rated at 25,000 units a day.