The new site, which meets the highest standards of sustainable best practice and has created 123 new jobs, will provide an estimated annual economic benefit to the region of €20 million and produce 110,000 tonnes of Rock Mineral Wool every year — enough insulation to renovate 25,000 homes a year.
Jean-Claude Carlin, Group CEO of Knauf Insulation said: “Demand for our rock mineral wool solutions is increasing significantly across Europe and particularly in France where there is a commitment to renovate 500,000 homes every year to tackle fuel poverty, slash energy use and reduce the country’s carbon footprint and stringent new regulations for fire safety.”
“We are looking forward to being able to introduce our new range of solutions to our customers. The new plant will also reduce our carbon footprint and help to recalibrate our production from our facilities in Central and Eastern Europe, significantly improving our customer service levels”.
Mark Leverton, Knauf Insulation’s Managing Director Western Europe, said: “From the outset we announced our ambition to create a reference plant for our group, not only in terms of our innovations but also in terms of our approach to the environment and the wellbeing of our new colleagues.”
The plant is in the process of being certified by the independent sustainable auditing schemes HQE and OsmoZ and Knauf Insulation is working with local environmental association AICINI to transform 7.5 hectares of the site into a wild meadow for plants, birds and insects. A 3,500m2 Urbanscape Green Roof has also been installed across the plant buildings.
Mark said: “In addition to the 123 new jobs at the plant, we expect to create between 300 and 400 indirect jobs through contractors and local services.”
“The €110 million investment has put the plant in the top 10 of investments in France this year and has directly benefited the region with local businesses carrying out the majority of the work. We estimate the annual indirect impact on the eastern Moselle region will be around €20 million a year.”
Power of people
The majority of the new employees are from the local region. The plant also hosts the largest number of female operators and engineers in the group. Ages of the new employees range from 19 to 57 and all offer a variety of experience.
Alain Rysman, Plant Manager said: “The Moselle region has a long history of industrial excellence so finding skilled people has not been a challenge. The region has been impacted by economic challenges and unemployment over the last couple of decades so there has been an enormous amount of interest in the project. This site shows that an industrial region can rebound and offer more than factory closures.”