Kingspan Insulation announces the opening of a world-leading high performance insulation manufacturing facility at Somerton in Melbourne. Giving a big boost to Victoria’s manufacturing sector, the $40-million plant is the most technically innovative and energy efficient facility yet for the Kingspan Group.

Located in the City of Hume where Ford Australia shut down local production in 2016, the new Kingspan plant has already created 26 new jobs with another 24 people to be employed in the near future. The construction of the 14,000-square-metre facility was supported by a $3 million grant from Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund, set up by the Victorian Government in partnership with the Federal Government and Ford Australia.

Kingspan’s new manufacturing facility in Melbourne will be opened by the Victorian minister for industry and employment, the Hon. Wade Noonan MP; Irish ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí; and Kingspan Group chief executive Gene Murtagh on 5 April 2017. The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP will also be in attendance.

Frank McGuire MP State Member for Broadmeadows, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Innovation, Ros Spence MP State Member for Yuroke and Kingspan Insulation Australia Managing Director Scott Gibson are also attending the event.

Kingspan Insulation Australia, a division of the Kingspan Group, is Australia’s leading supplier of high performance insulation. With the opening of the Melbourne plant, Kingspan Australia will now not only be able to supply insulation products made in Australia but also export throughout the Asia Pacific region with 20 per cent of production already scheduled for export. This is expected to grow to 35 per cent by 2020.

Mr Murtagh says the Somerton manufacturing facility is the first fourth-generation Kooltherm manufacturing site in the world, using the group’s latest technical innovations in its manufacturing processes.

Observing that the market for high performance insulation is growing rapidly around the world in response to government policies aimed at making buildings more energy efficient, he added that the new facility would give Australia world-leading technical capability in a sector experiencing significant sustained domestic and international growth.

Kingspan Kooltherm is a super high performance rigid thermoset phenolic insulation with ultra-low conductivity for roofs, walls and floors. It offers exceptional thermal and fire performance and its ultra-thin profile allows for more internal floor space to be created due to thinner walls.

The Somerton facility was designed by architect Tone Wheeler, a leader in environmentally sustainable design in Australia. Feature highlights include a 750kW solar system designed into the plant’s roof structure to provide most of its daytime shift energy requirements; Kingspan’s energy saving smart lighting system; and use of high performance Kingspan insulation products throughout to significantly reduce energy requirements and optimise comfort and safety for employees.

The facility was built using sustainably sourced or manufactured building materials. Energy renewing ventilators provide occupants with 100 per cent more fresh air than required by the building code. Rainwater is also harvested for bathroom and landscape use.

The Kingspan Insulation plant at Somerton is on track to be Australia’s first Green Star rated manufacturing facility.