By Liz White, UT editor
Pembridge, UK-Building industry supplier Kingspan Insulation is investing £26.5 million ($51.2 million) in a new plant to make rigid polyurethane insulation boards in Selby, UK, to meet growing demand for its products. The UK arm of the Irish group recently purchased a large-scale production facility in Selby, Yorkshire, to set up the project, which it said will also boost employment in the area.
A new production line for Kingspan's Therma range of high-performance rigid urethane insulation boards, is on order, with installation scheduled to start in late autumn, the Pemridge, UK-based unit said. Kingspan said it expects the line will be fully commissioned by spring 2008, adding that the operation will employ 50 to 60 people. The facility Kingspan has bought needs converting to house the polyurethane insulation line: the investment figure covers the purchase price, conversion work and the cost of the production equipment, a company spokesperson indicated.
Selby's insulation line will be the second of three new production lines commissioned by Kingspan Insulation over three years, the company pointed out. This ongoing programme of expansion covers a line at Castleblayney in Ireland to produce Kingspan's range of rigid phenolic insulation. The third line will be introduced in the next eighteen months in central/eastern Europe, said Kingspan, without revealing what type of insulation this line will make.
Growing demand for insulation products follows last year's revision of the requirements of the UK's Building Regulations for the Conservation of Fuel and Power, said Kingspan. These tighter specifications have boosted orders for insulation products, which is why Kingspan's expansion is needed.
"We are looking forward to sharing Kingspan's success with the people living in and around the Selby area, not just through direct employment but also through the benefits of sustained economic growth and community involvement, as we have done at our other sites throughout the UK," said Peter Wilson, managing director of Kingspan Insulation in the company's 14 March announcement.
PIC: Spencer Murtagh (standing) of Kingspan Insulation at the Selby plant, with Rupert Visick of the Gent Visick Partnership, the property agency which sold the plant to Kingspan. "