From Plastics and Rubber Weekly
By Richard Higgs
Cavan, Ireland - Irish construction materials company Kingspan Group has postponed plans to construct a new greenfield polyurethane foam insulation board plant in Poland this year in the face of the global economic downturn.
Last year Kingspan was granted a permit to operate in the Poland's Lodz special economic zone and was preparing to launch its third production unit in the country in mid-2009. But now the project has been delayed to beyond 2010.
Company subsidiary Kingspan Insulation already produces steel-faced PU foam insulated panels and insulation boards at units in Lipsko, Poland.
However, Kingspan continued to expand some operations in central Europe during 2008 with the installation of a new insulated PU foam-based building panels line at its manufacturing site in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. The firm also manufactures insulated panels in Hungary.
This month Kingspan reported buoyant 2008 results across Europe for its insulated panels business. It saw operational growth in central and eastern Europe, as well as the west of the region, increase by 11 percent on a constant currency basis.
Annual capital investment of nearly €106m ($133 million) was devoted chiefly to expanding the capacity at the Czech Republic operation, along with new facilities in the Netherlands and a replacement insulated panels line in the UK.
Overall, Kingspan has reduced its capital investment plans for 2009 with planned spending set to amount to €50m. Its 2008 turnover fell more than 10 percent to €1.67bn and pre-tax profit dropped over 69 percent to just €68m, the company reported this month.