Australia: Kingspan Australia has opened an insulation plant at Somerton near Melbourne. The US$30m plant will manufacture rigid board insulation, including Kingspan Kooltherm a rigid thermoset phenolic insulation. The 14,000m2 unit has created 26 new jobs and 24 additional jobs will be added as production increases. Following the opening of the plant Kingspan aims to export 20% of its production to the Asia Pacific region. This is expected to grow to 35% by 2020.
“The market for high-performance insulation is growing rapidly around the world in response to government policies aimed at making buildings more energy efficient. This facility gives Australia world leading technical capability in a sector that is experiencing significant sustained domestic and international growth,” said Gene Murtagh, the chief executive officer of Kingspan Group.
Architect Tone Wheeler designed the plant with a focus on environmentally sustainable design. It has a 750kW solar system designed into its roof structure which, when installed, will provide most of its daytime shift energy requirements. It also uses Kingspan lighting and insulation products to reduce energy requirements and optimise comfort for employees. Other sustainable features at the site include the use of sustainably sourced or manufactured building materials, the use of energy renewing ventilators and the use of rainwater harvesters for bathroom and landscape use. Kingspan says that the plant is on track to be Australia’s first Green Star-rated manufacturing facility.