BASF will substantially expand the production plant for the insulation material Styrodur C at the Ludwigshafen site in Germany. This will increase the production capacity of the extruded polystyrene rigid foam panels (XPS) from the current 1.3 million m³ by an additional 220,000 m³.
In the extended plant the new XPS types Styrodur Neo and Styrodur HT can be manufactured along with standard products. Operation will start at the end of 2011.
"The Styrodur C business runs successfully, the demand for energy-efficient building insulation products rises continuously. By increasing our capacity we are aiming to establish our new XPS products, which represent a major advance in insulation performance and processing, within the construction sector in the long run. We can also ensure the delivery to our customers of high-performance standard products, such as thick or high-density panels," said Dr. Giorgio Greening, head of BASF's global business unit Foams.
The plant extension is incorporated into the existing production structure, but will have a more elaborate configuration and will operate using an optimized method. This will allow a well-directed setting of specific panel properties. Thus, security of supply and quality consistency for BASF customers is increased.
With Styrodur C, BASF is among the leading providers of XPS insulation in Europe. The European XPS market is currently growing by 3 to 5 percent per annum, driven by rising energy prices and legal regulations on thermal insulation in new and old buildings.
Pressure-resistant, water-repellent and rot-proof Styrodur C has been protecting homes against heat, cold and moisture for more than 45 years. This prolongs the service life of buildings, increases their value and improves the living climate. The various types of Styrodur C, which all contain air as cell gas, are distinguished mainly by their compressive strength. Styrodur HT (HT = high temperature) is suitable for all insulation applications exposed to high temperatures. Styrodur Neo, a gray XPS with integrated graphite particles, shows a 20 percent higher insulation performance than competitive materials.