The Korean government has set new standards for the thermal insulation and energy efficiency of new buildings. These will lead to significant reductions in energy use between 2012 and 2025.
For residential buildings, Korean regulations state that energy use must fall by 30% of its 2010 level in 2012. From 2017 new buildings will have to be 60% more energy efficient than those built in 2010 and those built in 2025 must have a zero energy loss requirement.
Korean regulations for the commercial sector are different but reach the same end point.
In 2012 there was a 15% reduction in the energy consumption of new builds compared to 2010. In 2017 energy use must fall by 30% and, in 2020 new builds must be 60% more efficient than in 2010. Again, like domestic buildings by 2025 there must be zero emissions from new commercial buildings.
While this is an opportunity for PIR foams, the real interest starts in 2017 when it is unlikely that polystyrene foam will be able to offer sufficient insulation to meet the new standards, said Lin.
At the moment, the B-2 building standard is the national Korean flammability standard for the domestic market, said Lin.
In the future, it is more likely the demand will go for the higher B-2 standard, he said, adding that the new foam meets the B-1 standard. Youngbo is working to get the new pentane-blown product to meet the B-1 standard.
Business is going well
We are running at almost full capacity with production of 7680T/year.” said Kim. He added that “sometime in 2015 the firm will look at expanding capacity. Maximum installed capacity is about 10 kT/year on one line.” Foam and other machinery and parts will be to be sourced locally.” said Kim.
Kim estimates that the market for building boards made with rigid polyurethane foam, in volume terms is between about 20kT to 25kT/year.
The market is growing at a rate of 20 to 30%/year, he said. The installation will be added to new builds and is to existing buildings that are uninsulated, said Kim
There are four or five other companies operating in the same sector. Exports account for a very small share of the market if there are any at all. Some US products are being applied to roofing systems but it’s a small volume, said Lin.
Government targets and money
A total of 1m buildings will be turned into green buildings between 2010 and 2018, that is target, said Kim. “The government is subsidising buildings that it’s trying to turn green,” said Kim.
Youngbo Housing has been developing new technical products including one with a nonwoven surface to make it more flame retardant. This has been patented. It is a non-facing product, said Lynn. This is produced using a unique process said Park Kyung-Hee, R&D leader of Youngbo Housing.
He explained that the nonwoven is added after the foam has finished reacting, and the Kraft paper is removed.
“This type of block would be used in roof and walls,” PIR nonwoven block to have any kind of coating required by the architects, Kim added.
Youngbo Foam’s roots go back to 1979.
- In 1997 it became a public company.
- In 2003 it merged with Sekisui which bought a 51% stake in the firm.
- In 2009 Youngbo moved to its current location in Chungbuk, South Korea.
- In 2005 Youngbo HPP opens in Beijing
- Youngbo Foam plans to open an office in Chongching by 2014.
Financials and company structure
Overall, in 2012 Sekisui had sales of ¥1,030trn and operating income of ¥60.6bn. The company employs 22,200 people. Youngbo’s rigid polyurethane products are: PIR board, duct and pipe insulation used in the construction sector accounts. It accounts for about 29% of Sekisui’s total turnover.
Youngbo sits in the foam part of Sekisui’s high-performance plastics division. The high-performance plastics company had sales in 2013 of ¥326 bn and operating income of ¥23 bn.
The foam division has eight overseas operations: Youngbo chemicals, including Youngbo Foam HPP. This is a 100% owned subsidiary of Youngbo Chemicals. Youngbo housing, the other subsidiary is based in Korea. Other subsidiaries are in the Netherlands, UK, Thailand Australia and the US.
In 2013 Youngbo Chemicals had consolidated sales of $163m and an operating income of $12m. It employed over 400 people.
In 2013, The Chinese subsidiary Foam HPP had sales of RMB75.5m and operating income of RMB5.7 m, it employs 52 people. Most of that company’s business is the automotive sector and making thin foam for IT devices.
Youngbo housing which makes polyol and sound insulation had sales of W30bn and operating income of W1.4bn in that time.
Yungbo HPP it is located on 20,000 m² of land the building occupies 10,000 m² it has two foaming ovens in China. The factories located in the Langbang development zone.
Youngbo Housing has a range of safety and health and environmental management certifications including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.