Dublin -- Irish insulation products manufacturer Xtratherm is to spend Euro 25 million ($32 million) on a new manufacturing facility near Charleroi, in Belgium's Walloon Region.
The new entity, due to become operational at the beginning of 2014, will manufacture and distribute the company's successful range of rigid polyisocyanurate board insulation products and create about 100 jobs over a number of years.
The company said in its 16 April announcement: "Having established itself as a significant player in both the UK and Irish markets, Xtratherm has seen its mainland European business grow significantly in recent years," noting that in 2011 sales to these customers were close to 20 percent of its total turnover.
Xtratherm has ambitious growth targets in key mainland European markets such as Benelux, Germany and France. Its European customers are currently supplied from two modern manufacturing facilities in Ireland and the UK.
The site for the new facility, close to the city of Charleroi, gives access to key markets, and will in future supply all of Xtratherm's mainland European customers.
The initial phase of the investment will consist of production and warehousing facilities of about 15 000 sq.m, with space for future expansion.
Eoghan Hynes, founder and managing director of Xtratherm said in the company press statement: "Today's announcement marks a significant milestone in Xtratherm's growth. This new facility in Belgium will provide our company with an ideal location at the heart of Europe from which to grow and develop its European business over the coming years. We acknowledge the excellent support provided to date by both the Wallonia Government and State Agencies and look forward to developing these relationships in the years ahead."
Growth in the European insulation market and Xtratherm's business are being driven by ever increasing building regulations across all of Europe,l Xtratherm said. Srict targets emanating from the Kyoto Protocol and successive European Directives will continue to fuel the impressive growth of the sector in the lead up to 2020 and beyond.
PIR, Xtratherm's principal product, is a well established insulation material, used in both new-build and renovation, in residential and commercial buildings, the company explained.
Xtratherm said the total European insulation market is forecast to be worth in excess of Euro 12 billion by 2016, and the PIR segment is expected to grow from approximately Euro 1.2 billion to over Euro 1.75 billion in this timeframe.
"The new Belgian facility will provide Xtratherm with a platform in central Europe to better serve its existing customers and take advantage of the significant emerging growth opportunities," the company said.