Knauf Insulation is set to invest in its two UK Glass Mineral Wool plants.
In St Helens, Knauf Insulation will invest over £40m to increase the plant’s total capacity by c30,000 tonnes per annum from late 2023/early 2024 and to acquire the large adjacent Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group.
This major investment in St Helens will include:
- a larger furnace to support the increased capacity
- improved fiberising technology to support a significant widening of the range to include new, industry-leading lower lambda and thicker insulation products
- downstream equipment to cure and package the additional output and to support further enhancement of its market-leading product compression.
As a result of the investment, Knauf Insulation expects to see a circa 20% improvement in the embodied carbon of products supplied from its St Helens plant, building further on its industry-leading position in terms of sustainability.
To support the growth in output, the company has also agreed a deal in principle to acquire the adjacent Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group for a multi-million pound sum, subject to contract, environmental and structural surveys. The site covers around 7 hectares in total and includes industrial buildings with a total floor space in excess of 180,000 sq ft. This significant acquisition will allow for additional warehouse and storage space and a fully optimised logistics operation on the enlarged site.
Knauf Insulation is also investing in excess of £5m in packaging equipment at its Cwmbran plant to enable the production of Glass Mineral Wool slabs in addition to the plant’s current roll and blowing wool capability. This will enable the company to optimise its UK manufacturing and logistics footprint, improve availability to customers and take up to 1.5 million truck miles per annum off the road.
Neil Hargreaves, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “This is an exciting development for our business and both our UK Glass Mineral Wool plants. These investments support the anticipated growth in demand driven by the Future Homes Standard and improved energy efficiency in new buildings as well as from more renovation of existing buildings. These developments are critical as we step up our efforts to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, climate change and energy security.”
Dominique Bossan, CEO of Knauf Insulation EMEA, added: “As well as the additional capacity to support growth domestically and overseas, we’re excited to bring new lower lambda and thicker products to the UK&I market. This supports our objective to continually innovate and provide our customers with the best range of non-combustible insulation solutions across both Glass and Rock Mineral Wool technologies. All these investments will further reduce the embodied carbon of our products and the built environment in line with our sustainability strategy, For A Better World.”