Insulation industry news from Global Insulation
UK: Belgium’s Recticel plans to invest at least Euro20m towards increasing its production capacity by at least 50% of rigid polyurethane foam (PIR) panels for thermal insulation for the construction market. Start of production is planned for the third quarter of 2018. The polyurethane foam producer plans to take advantage of stricter insulation standards and regulations, higher energy prices and the growing market awareness for the product.
“This investment is consistent with the growth strategy of our Insulation business. It brings substantial additional production capacity to enable Recticel to continue to serve its customers in the United Kingdom and to grow with them,” said chief executive officer Olivier Chapelle.
US: Armacell has acquired the insulation business of Nomaco, a manufacturer of extruded polyethylene (PE) insulation foam products. The acquisition of the Yukon, Oklahoma-based manufacturing facility will strengthen Armacell’s domestic production capacity and regional distribution network. No purchase price has been disclosed.
“The expansion of our manufacturing footprint into Oklahoma increases our distribution power and service levels in the Midwest and the West. Our customers will benefit both from a broader product portfolio as well as from stronger technical support,” said Patrick Mathieu, president and chief executive officer of Armacell International.
Ukraine: The interdepartmental commission on international trade has temporarily introduced special import duties on flexible porous slabs, blocks and sheets made of polyurethane foam classified for three years. The tariff follows an investigation started in July 2015, according to Interfax. The investigation concluded that an increase of polyurethane foam goods imported to the country at below local market prices took place in 2013 and 2014.
UAE: Hira Industries has launched a polyethylene insulation plant in Al Ghail, Ras Al Khaimah. The factory will produce and export Aerofoam technical foam around the world. It has an area of 11,600m2 and employs 150 staff.
"With the wealth of construction projects in the region, the demand for aerofoam products is tremendous and we are seeing rapid growth year on year. Events such as Dubai's Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar have further driven the industry. Our move to set up the new facility is strategically planned," said Manish Hira, managing director of Hira Industries.
Hira Industries operates eight plants in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning sector. It was established in 1980.
India: Jindal Mectec will inaugurate its new US$11m polyurethane foam (PUF) panel plant on 5 April 2016. The plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh will have a production capacity of 1.8Mm2. State chief minister Shivraj Singh will officially inaugurate the site.
"The new plant set up with a capital outlay of US$11m is built on a 10-acre plot. It is based on the latest European technology to manufacture insulated PUF panels for the refrigerated and industrial buildings segment, using an ozone friendly process," said Jindal Mectec Chairman Pawan Jindal.
The new plant is intended to meet the needs of industrial customers in central and western India. The plant will employ 150 people when fully operational.
China: BASF has begun trial operations at its mononitrobenzene plant within the integrated 400,000t methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) complex in Chongqing, China. This MDI site covers an area of more than 50 hectares, including facilities of 400,000t/yr of Mononitrobenzene, 300,000t/yr of aniline, 400,000t/yr of crude MDI, and an MDI splitter with a capacity of 400,000t/yr. Mononitrobenzene is a precursor for the production of MDI, a component for polyurethanes.
US: Bayer MaterialScience has appointed Bill Brengel as the general manager for the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation and roofing materials business. In this role, Brengel will lead the sales, customer service, product and application development, and manufacturing groups with a focus on excellence and profitable growth.
Brengel has over 25 years of operations and business leadership experience in industries such as chemicals, plastics and building materials. He also has experience in business strategy and organisational growth and has led various business improvement initiatives. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a business degree from Coe College. He has served on a variety of boards and industry associations
"Bill has an excellent combination of strategy and process," commented Jerry MacCleary, President of Bayer MaterialScience NAFTA region. "His hands-on work ranges from production, to sales and marketing and overall health of the business. He is extremely goal oriented with a constant focus on quality. With his experience, Bill will be a champion for both our customers and our internal team."
Brazil: Elcateq, which manufactures a range of insulation materials for roofing and other construction applications, is eyeing sales of over US$1m in 2015.
"This year's target is US$1m of turnover. In 2012 our turnover was zero, but in three years things have constantly changed for the better," said Elasteq board member Kristian Kahre. Elcateq started production in 2012 and now has a portfolio of nine products. In 2013 Krimelte, Estonia's polyurethane foams and sealants producer, acquired a 40% stake. It now has a majority shareholding.
Kahre said that Elcateq would also consider future expansion. "We need to build up some reserves, but I believe that further expansion is possible, maybe further development of the company within Brazil," said Kahre. "We also might increase production space at some point."
US: Stepan plans to sell its speciality polyurethanes business to J6 Polymers. In 2014, the business generated sales of US$2.8bn. Stepan expects to make US$2.5 - 2.8m from the deal.
The sale includes intellectual property, formulations and production units, as well as client and supplier lists. Stepan makes polyurethanes at its plant in Millsdale, Illinois. It also uses custom manufacturers. Stepan will continue making polyurethanes on J6 Polymers' behalf at its Millsdale plant during the transition period. Stepan's polyurethanes are used in thermal insulation, coatings, adhesives, insulation materials and elastomers.
US: NCFI's spray polyurethane foam insulation (SPF) was successfully used in the second stage liquid fuel tank for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Orion spacecraft launch and test flight on 5 December 2014.
"NASA and the United Launch Alliance (ULA - the Boeing and Lockheed consortium), uses our polyurethane foam insulation, specially-formulated for high temperature and extreme pressure applications, on their external liquid fuel tanks to prevent condensation and the formation of ice on the tanks that could come free and harm the main vehicle," said Clarence Tolbert, vice president with NCFI. "The fuel tanks of the Delta IV Heavy three-core rocket contain liquid hydrogen and oxygen and are actually a tank within a tank covered by a skin onto which our foam insulation is spray applied. Nothing covers the foam, so it's pretty obvious as the golden yellow, or slightly orange acreage on the exterior of Orion."
Orion's first test flight took the unmanned vehicle to an altitude of just under 6000km with a re-entry speed of up to 32,000km/hr and temperatures up to 2200°C. Previously NCFI worked on the space shuttle's External Tank Programme.