Knauf Insulation has completed a £7 million upgrade of its manufacturing plant in Cwmbran, South Wales, which will increase its capacity by 6%.
The improvements include a complete rebuild of the furnace at the heart of the plant. The work has been completed as part of a £200 million investment programme to significantly increase the company’s manufacturing capacity and capability, which includes the construction of new plants in France and Malaysia.
“We’ve seen increased demand over the last 18 months as architects, contractors, developers and regulators have recognised the benefits of high-performance, non-combustible mineral wool insulation,” said John Sinfield, managing director at Knauf Insulation. “All indications suggest this trend will continue, which is one of the reasons we’ve invested in this comprehensive upgrade of our Cwmbran facility.”
The programme of work at the plant was scheduled to take six weeks, but was completed three days early. It included a complete rebuild of the furnace, and plant-wide refurbishments and modifications taking advantage of the latest technology developments to maintain high product standards. The programme also includes energy efficiency improvements with new compressors, drives and motors installed, which will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by just under 7,000 tonnes per year.
During the works, the plant’s 207 employees volunteered their time with local charities under Knauf Insulation’s ‘Community Matters’ programme. In total, 576 hours were given over to supporting four local causes, including two hospices, a resource centre for people with learning disabilities, and an animal rescue facility.
Knauf Insulation’s Cwmbran plant manufactures Glass Mineral Wool for use in a wide variety of applications. Products made at the site include the Supafil range of blowing wools for cavity insulation, and the Earthwool range of high-performance rolls, and slabs for use in traditional and off-site construction.
Knauf Insulation’s new Rock Mineral Wool plant in France is expected to come online in 2019, with the new Glass Mineral Wool plant in Malaysia following in 2020.