Freeport East secures 100 highly skilled jobs and ?45m economy boost

Gateway 14, which is part of Freeport East, is set to be the location of the first UK manufacturing facility from Assam Panel, a major affiliate of Kibar Holding. The firm produces sustainable building materials and its move to Gateway 14[1] will create about 100 highly skilled jobs at Freeport East and bring an investment of up to GBP45 million to the area. Ihsan Tolga Akar, the managing director of Assan Panel, which exports to 75 countries from Turkey, says the plan is to have the new plant operational by Autumn 2025.

The new facility will manufacture sandwich panels filled with Polyisocyanurate (PIR), mineral wool, or polyurethane - critical components in constructing sustainable and eco-friendly buildings. Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Opportunities - Freeport East chief executive Steve Beel said the deal would also help build strong connections to local universitiesOpportunities - Freeport East chief executive Steve Beel said the deal would also help build strong connections to local universities (Image: Freeport East) Steve Beel, chief executive of Freeport East, said: "This announcement represents a real milestone in strengthening the presence of green industry in the wider Freeport East area.

"As well as direct job creation, the investment will provide opportunities to build strong local R&D relationships with universities and drive the development of the skills and innovation cluster at Gateway 14." Haluk Kayabasi, chief executive of Kibar Holding, says the deal shows the firm is taking huge steps forward on its "globalisation journey". He said: "We aim to further strengthen our presence in the European market with the new facility investment of Assan Panel in the UK, which has previously increased its presence abroad with the investments it has realized in Jordan and Azerbaijan.

"By making a difference with the innovative, pioneering, sustainable, energy-efficient products we offer, we serve for the transition in European sandwich panel market for sustainable solutions, and now with more concentration in the UK."

Jacob Young, the minister for levelling up, added: "This significant commitment by Assan Panel not only brings high-skilled jobs and investment to the east of England but also strengthens the UK's important trading relationship with Turkey."

Freeport East is a world-leading centre for clean energy production, offering a unique set of opportunities and support for investors, traders, manufacturers and suppliers from Harwich and Felixstowe.


  1. ^ Gateway 14 (