Knauf Insulation to heavily invest in its two UK glass mineral wool plants

Knauf Insulation has announced a series of investments in its two UK glass mineral wool plants that will boost capacity as well as improve the range, availability and sustainability of its products for the benefit of its customers.

The insulation manufacturer will invest over £40 million into its St Helens plant to increase its total capacity by 30,000 tonnes per annum from late 2023/early 2024 and acquire the large adjacent Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group. The latter acquisition will allow for additional warehouse and storage space and a fully optimised logistics operation on the enlarged site.

This major investment in St Helens will include:

  • A larger furnace to support the increased capacity
  • An improved fiberising technology to support a significant widening of the range to include new, industry-leading lower lambda and thicker insulation products
  • Downstream equipment to cure and package the additional output and to support further enhancement of its market-leading product compression.

The investment will result in an expected circa 20% improvement in the embodied carbon of products supplied from Knauf’s St Helens plant, building further on its industry-leading position in terms of sustainability.

Furthermore, Knauf Insulation is also investing in excess of £5 million in packaging equipment at its Cwmbran plant to enable the production of Glass Mineral Wool slabs in addition to the plant’s current roll and blowing wool capability. This will enable the company to optimise its UK manufacturing and logistics footprint, improve availability to customers and take up to 1.5 million truck miles per annum off the road.

Neil Hargreaves, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, commented: “These investments support the anticipated growth in demand driven by the Future Homes Standard and improved energy efficiency in new buildings as well as from more renovation of existing buildings. These developments are critical as we step up our efforts to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, climate change and energy security.” 

Dominique Bossan, CEO of Knauf Insulation EMEA, added: “As well as the additional capacity to support growth domestically and overseas, we’re excited to bring new lower lambda and thicker products to the UK and Ireland market.

“This supports our objective to continually innovate and provide our customers with the best range of non-combustible insulation solutions across both Glass and Rock Mineral Wool technologies. All these investments will further reduce the embodied carbon of our products and the built environment in line with our sustainability strategy.”

>>Read more about Knauf Insulation here.