Insulation industry news from Global Insulation
Russia: Rockwool has completed an upgrade of its stone wool insulation plant at Troitsk, in Chelyabinsk region. The unit will use Power+ technology with enhanced micro-distribution of the binder and optimised fibre-spinning technology on the production line. These improvements are intended to improve the final product’s homogeneity and performance properties.
Denmark: Bjørn Høi Jensen, the chairman of Rockwool, has announced that he will not be standing for re-election at the company’s annual general meeting in April 2017. He said that as he had met his goals to review the management group, start a new growth plan and introduce an ‘extensive’ improvement in results that he was standing down earlier than planned. He originally became chairman in 2014.
Rockwool’s external net sales for its insulation division dropped by 2% to Euro1.63bn in 2016 from Euro1.66bn in 2015. In local currencies the company calculated a slight rise of 0.7% for its net sales. However, its overall profit nearly doubled to Euro166m from Euro90m and its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 21% to Euro389m from Euro322m. It blamed the poor sales on the industrial and technical insulation industries and the slow development of construction in Russia in both new build and renovation. In a statement Jensen described 2016 as a year ‘marked by tough conditions.’
The insulation and building materials producer also announced that it was planning to build three new production plants including a stone wool factory in Mississippi, US. Land acquisitions for the projects are expected to be completed in 2017.
Russia: TechnoNicol increased its production of stone wool by almost 10% to 11Mm3 in 2016 due to new plants, new products and an expanded export portfolio. The company opened two new plants in Rostov-on-Don and Khabarovsk as well as upgrading its equipment at its existing plants. Over US$103m was invested in the production of basalt insulation in 2016.
The insulation producer opened its Khabarovsk plant in the Far Eastern Federal District of the country in August 2016. It announced in late January 2017 that the plant reached its projected production capacity of 0.75Mm3/yr of basalt insulation. Since this plant was opened the company has started exporting insulation materials to China and Canada. It also plans to target Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam.
Russia: Finland’s Paroc has launched its Extra Light stone wool insulation product. The release is part of a strategy to diversify its offering to the Russian insulation and construction market. The insulation producer operates an insulation plant at Tverskaya Oblast.
Russia: TechnoNicol has started operation at a Euro105m mineral wool plant in the south of the Rostov region. The new unit will produce four types of rock wool products. Future plans for the site include the production of pipe and roof insulation and exports to markets in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
Russia: Restrictions on imports have stopped Paroc from transporting stone from its Lapinlahti in Finland to its insulation plant in Russia. Joakim Westerlund, Paroc's chief operating officer, said that the import restrictions on crushed rock material were imposed with relatively short notice in summer 2016 according to the Savon Sanomat newspaper. Subsequently the insulation producer has had to source stone locally in Russia. Quarrying at Lapinlahti for Paroc by Fjäder Group has previously totalled 20,000t/yr.
Russia: Rockwool division manager Henrik Frank Nielsen expects the Russian market to grow eventually despite a poor market for insulation materials at present, a troubled local economy and looming international political risks. He told Danish newspaper Børsen that Russia is still both a healthy and profitable market but that it is difficult to make long-term plans in the country. The Russian market for insulation materials for the construction sector decreased by 15% in 2015 and Nielsen expects an equally high decrease for 2016.
Russia: TechnoNicol has opened a Euro27.6m mineral wool insulation production plant in the Khabarovsk region. The plant will have a production capacity of 0.75Mm3, according to Prime News. The products will be sold locally and via export. The company plans to export 20% of its entire output to China in 2019. The insulation producer expects the payback period for the plant to take seven years.
Russia: Penoplex has launched production of a new brand of general use polystyrene for the production of heat-insulation boards. It uses additives to improve the solution of foaming agents used in the production of extruded polystyrene foam.
Penoplex is a Russian manufacturer of construction, decorative and finishing materials from polymers. The company started in 1998 when it launched Russia’s first production line to manufacture heat-insulating materials made of extrusive expanded polystyrene under the Penoplex trademark.
Russia: TechnoNicol has completed the construction of a mineral wool plant in the Rostov region. The plant is currently undergoing commissioning and testing with operation planned for mid-July 2016. The company has invested Euro44m into the site. Once operational the plant will be able to produce six groups of products, including more than 90 types of basalt-based thermal insulation products.
The roofing and insulation producer has also announced that it intends to build a Euro44m mineral wool plant in Kazakhstan. Irek Allayarov, director of the company’s mineral isolation department, said that the company is in the process of selecting potential sites for the unit. A final decision will be made by the end of 2016.