Insulation industry news from Global Insulation
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.
US: Kingspan Insulation has started an expansion project at its Winchester plant in Virginia. The US$25m investment in the plant will be used to install a new extruded polystyrene insulation (XPS) insulation manufacturing line.
"We are pleased to announce that the installation is proceeding on time and on cost," said Kingspan Insulation North America's Managing Director Alswinn Kieboom.
Once the project is completed, it will allow Kingspan Insulation to continue to service demand for its GreenGuard line of XPS board products. The products feature moisture resistance, an R-value of 5.0 per inch of thickness and are suitable for a range of applications including cavity walls, continuous insulation, roofs, below-grade perimeter foundation and slab-on-grade.
As part of this investment programme, Kingspan Insulation has announced its intent to begin production of high performance, polyiso insulation in North America, providing an even greater choice for specifiers and contractors.
Kingspan Insulation is currently considering locations for three new production lines. Locations under consideration are at its existing plant in Virginia, at its sister company sites in California, Florida, Ohio, as well as sites in Nevada and Texas in the US, plus Ontario and British Columbia.
US: Installed Building Products has acquired Southern Insulators & Specialties, a fibreglass and spray foam insulation installer based in Covington, Louisiana. No value for the purchase was released.
"Southern has a large presence in the state of Louisiana with trailing-12 month revenues of approximately US$5m," said Jeff Edwards, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He added that Installed Building Products has completed six acquisitions, representing nearly US$53m of annual revenue, since the start of 2016.
US: Demand for plastic foams in the US is forecast to rise 2.3%/yr to 4Mt in 2020, valued at US$25.2bn, according to a report by the Freedonia Group. A report summary stated that growth will decelerate from the rate posted during the 2010-2015 period and that the construction sector is anticipated to lead growth prospects, which will see additional opportunities for foam insulation products bolstered by increasing construction activity.
Elsewhere, rising consumer spending levels will bode well for foams used in household products such as bedding, furniture and appliances. In the motor vehicle market, advances will slow in tandem with slowing motor vehicle production and by trends towards smaller, more fuel efficient cars that require less foam on a per vehicle basis.
US: The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in California has asserted that polystyrene is not the same as styrene and is not listed by the state as a substance that causes cancer. The OEHHA has added styrene to a list of a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
"There is sufficient scientific information to demonstrate that the intended uses of these materials are safe,” said the OEHHA. "While free or unreacted styrene may be present in such products, only styrene exposures that pose a significant cancer risk would require a warning." Styrene is used to make expanded polystyrene (EPS) but the substances have different properties. The OEHHA's listing is based on the findings of the 12th edition of the National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens that assesses the potential for risks associated with styrene, primarily in work environments where levels of styrene exposure may be higher.
US: Carpenter Co. has opened a new expanded polystyrene (EPS) plant in Elkhart, Indiana. The new plant will supply the upper Midwest markets. It will be fully operational in March 2016.
"We are excited to expand our effective marketing area into the Midwest area of the country," said Larry King, vice president Insulation Division of Carpenter.
The Elkhart EPS facility will be managed by Richard Thain, who previously worked at the Carpenter EPS plant in Lakeland, Florida. Carpenter currently operates EPS production facilities in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, High Point, North Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.
US: Albemarle Corporation, a flame retardant manufacturer, and ICL, a specialty chemical company, have announced that they have entered into a long-term agreement for the supply of a polymeric flame retardant. The product is manufactured at ICL's facilities in the Netherlands and in Israel using technology licensed from Dow Global Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.
This next generation flame retardant, which is marketed by Albemarle under the brand name GreenCrest and by ICL under the brand name FR122P, is a sustainable alternative for customers transitioning from hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)-based flame retardants currently used by the building industry in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation products. Albemarle will supply ICL with bromine for the production of GreenCrest, associated with the agreement. The agreement is subject to certain conditions precedent, including approval of Israel's Antitrust Authority.
Albemarle and ICL will continue to provide independent marketing, sales and technical service to their respective customers in Europe and around the world to ensure a transition as EPS and XPS producers continue to shift from HBCD to the polymeric flame retardants.
US: Carlisle Construction Materials’ net sales rose by 4.4% year-on-year to US$484m in the fourth quarter of 2015. The building products manufacturer attributed the growth to demand for insulation application and commercial roofing and good weather. It also benefitted from lower raw material costs and improved business practices although this was partially offset by lower selling prices.
Overall, the Carlisle Companies subsidiary reported that its net sales rose by 3.5% year-on-year to US$2bn in 2015 from US$1.94bn in 2014. Its earnings before interest and income taxes rose by 30.6% to US$351m from US$269m.
US: Owens Cornings has reported that net sales for its insulation business rose by 6% year-on-year to US$1.85bn in 2015 from US$1.75bn in 2014. Its earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) rose by 48% to US$160m from US$108m.
Overall, the roofing, insulation and composites manufacturer saw its net sales rise slightly to US$5.35bn in 2015 from US$5.26bn in 2014. Net earnings rose by 46% to US$334m from US$228m.
“Strong operational and commercial execution drove significant earnings growth in all three of our businesses, resulting in the best year of earnings growth in the history of our company,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Thaman.
For its insulation business, the company expects revenue growth and margin expansion to be weaker in 2016 than 2015. It noted that its prospects are dependent upon the progression of pricing and volume in the US residential new construction market.
US: The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) announced that SOPREMA has joined the group as a manufacturing member.
"The addition of SOPREMA to both the polyiso industry and the PIMA family reflects the continuing growth of polyiso as North America's insulation product of choice," said Jared Blum, President PIMA. "SOPREMA's construction industry leadership role is well acknowledged and the PIMA Board of Directors looks forward to the active involvement of the company."
SOPREMA joins PIMA's six manufacturing members: Atlas Roofing, Firestone Building Products, GAF, Hunter Panels, Johns Manville and Rmax.
SOPREMA is an international manufacturer that specialises in the development and production of innovative products for waterproofing, insulation, soundproofing and vegetated solutions for the roofing, building envelope and civil engineering sectors.
"SOPREMA is proud to join PIMA and contribute to the energy performance of buildings and the reduction of greenhouse gases as a manufacturer of high-performance insulation boards," said Richard Voyer, Executive Vice-President and CEO of SOPREMA North America.