Most of the investment – £40m – will be in St Helens, were Knauf Insulation plans to increase the capacity by 30,000 tonnes a year from early 2024.
Knauf plans to install a bigger furnace, to introduce lower lambda and thicker products to the market and buy the neighbouring Pilkington Architectural site from Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG).
Knauf has agreed a deal with NSG to buy the Pilkington Architectural site, subject to contract, environmental and structural surveys. The 7ha site includes 180,000 sq ft of industrial buildings that will give Knauf more warehouse and storage space.
Knauf Insulation is also investing £5m 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 a year off the road.
Neil Hargreaves, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “This is an exciting development for our business and both our UK glass mineral wool plants. 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, chief executive 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&I 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.”