Spec Finish

Feature Multi-million-pound investments have been made in the UK in a plasterboard facility and manufacturing plant. We spoke to Neil Shaw, Country Manager at Etex and Ian Stokes, Managing Director at Knauf UK & Ireland about what this means to the sector, local community, and the environment. 10 www.thefis.org T he facility and manufacturing plant are significant investments amidst a period typified by inflation and availability concerns. Etex is expanding its Siniat plasterboard facility in Bristol which will have a huge impact on the volume of plasterboard in the UK market, increasing the companies Bristol-based production by 100%. Knauf has invested with the multi-million- pound purchase of a new plasterboard manufacturing plant Gypfor, based in Newport, South Wales. They stated “It is an emphatic demonstration of the Group’s commitment to dry construction in the UK and Ireland markets.” Both have reiterated that new jobs will be created and they will be focused on sustainability. Supporting the UK to become more self-sufficient A MOMENT OF HOPE FOR THE SECTOR Neil Shaw, Country Manager at Etex Breaking ground at the extension to Etex’s Bristol-based plasterboard facility Neil said: “The UK market for plasterboard is strong and underlying growth continues, making it very attractive, but it is under- supplied. We have relied on imports to supplement local production for a number of years. As the UK is a key market for the Etex brands, it made sense to invest in the future and expand our manufacturing facility. Bristol was the obvious choice. The new facility will double our Bristol- based manufacturing capacity and support the industry’s underlying growth at a time when the UK market needs are high. The state-of-the-art facility will remove our reliance on plasterboard imports and will allow us to plan our production schedules more efficiently which will mean shorter lead times and greater customer service. From the facility, we can easily transport throughout the UK, it’s close to our existing plant and team in Bristol, and most significantly, as it’s next to the port, it is ideal for importing raw materials needed for production. By shipping directly into the facility from the port, we have an efficient supply chain and minimise environmental impacts, helping towards our ambitious sustainability targets. The facility will also allow us to continue to support the UK market by producing Siniat’s full range of plasterboard such as fire, dB and moisture boards. This range also includes our innovative products such as Siniat Weather DefenceTMA1 non-combustible sheathing board and our specialist security boards such as Siniat Securtex, all of which meet the latest demanding standards and will help both design and build teams to meet the challenges of the construction sector moving forwards”. Neil explained that although Etex are a large company with 12,000 teammates “I am immensely proud of Etex” says Neil Shaw, as he discusses the expansion of their Bristol plasterboard facility. He says this is one of the largest investments of its kind in their history, and the company’s recruitment and sustainability plans for the facility. Neil’s career has seen him hold roles worldwide, fromGlobal Marketing Manager in Paris to Vice President of Marketing in Florida, North America for Saint-Gobain. Returning to the UK just as the pandemic began, he started his current role within Etex.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mzg1Mw==