A company which produces high-quality ventilation and heating systems has opened a new factory in the county.
The Zehnder plant, on the Woodcut Farm Business Park, off Ashford Road in Hollingbourne, was opened by the Faversham and Mid Kent MP Helen Whately and the deputy mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Martin Cox.
They were guests of the Swiss company’s board of directors chairman, Dr Hans-Peter Zehnder and the UK managing director Tony Twohig.
The new factory has been designed to meet the highest standards of quality and sustainability, incorporating energy-efficient technologies to minimise its environmental impact with solar panels, LED low energy lighting, which is light sensitive and self-adjusting, and heat recovery and cooling systems in the office areas.
Brand new machinery, such as plastic-molding machines, cooling systems and a fully electric vehicle fleet, including forklift trucks, also work to the latest energy efficiency ratings.
The site is set up to recycle the energy from cooling water to heat or cool the machines, and then in the winter, reuse the heat from the compressed air system to warm the building - meaning the factory is in a constant process of reuse and recycle, putting less strain on the local grid and surrounding amenities.
The 60 staff all live within 12 miles of the site, including the factory’s operations manager Conrad Thrower, and every employee has access to a free electric bus service to help them get to work.
Mrs Whately said: “It’s great to have Zehnder in Maidstone and continuing to invest in our local economy.
“The firm’s new factory is impressive, combining innovative technology with sustainability.
“Investments like this are just what our area needs. They bring good jobs and opportunities, and mark Kent out as a place to do business. I wish Zehnder every success for the future.”
The new factory replaces the firm’s previous plant in Lenham.