Knauf Insulation announces 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.

In St Helens, Knauf Insulation is set to invest over £40m to increase the plant’s total capacity by c30,000 tonnes per annum from late 2023/early 2024 and to acquire the large adjacent Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group.

This major investment in St Helens will include:

  • A larger furnace to support the increased capacity.
  • 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.

As a result of the investment, Knauf Insulation expects to see a circa 20% improvement in the embodied carbon of products supplied from its St Helens plant, building further on its industry-leading position in terms of sustainability.

To support the growth in output, the company has also agreed a deal in principle to acquire the adjacent Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group for a multi-million pound sum, subject to contract, environmental and structural surveys. The site covers around 7 hectares in total and includes industrial buildings with a total floor space in excess of 180,000 sq ft. This significant acquisition will allow for additional warehouse and storage space and a fully optimised logistics operation on the enlarged site.

Knauf Insulation is also investing in excess of £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 per annum off the road.

Neil Hargreaves, Managing Director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, added “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, 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&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. All these investments will further reduce the embodied carbon of our products and the built environment in line with our sustainability strategy, For A Better World.”

About Knauf Insulation

Knauf Insulation is the UK’s leading provider of high performance, sustainable Glass and Rock Mineral Wool insulation solutions. With more than 40 years of experience in the insulation industry, it is one of the fastest growing and most respected names in insulation worldwide.
As part of the Knauf Group, a €10.5bn turnover multi-national family-owned manufacturer of building materials and construction systems, Knauf Insulation employs more than 6,000 employees and has 30 manufacturing sites in 16 countries, with a turnover of €2bn. In the UK, the company employs over 500 people at its manufacturing plants in Cwmbran, Queensferry and St Helens.
Knauf Insulation’s mission is to challenge conventional thinking and create innovative insulation solutions that shape the way we live and build in the future, with care for the people who make them, the people who use them and the world we all depend on.
Its vision is to lead the change in smarter insulation solutions for a better world. Its aspiration is to be the world’s most trusted insulation partner providing high performing and smart insulation solutions and services for a better world.