In response to growing demand for sustainable, loose-fill insulation products, Knauf Insulation North America (KINA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) have announced an investment of approximately $35 million in the Albion, Mich. plant. The investment is expected to convert and restart an idled production line, increasing production capacity by more than 30 percent and adding 34 new full-time positions to one of Knauf’s top performing facilities.
“Keeping pace with the growing demand in the upper Midwest for quality loose-fill insulation products will be made possible through the expansion of our plant here in Albion,” says Kevin Keen, Albion plant manager. “The support we received from the State of Michigan and City of Albion helped make this expansion possible. We are excited to add 34 new full-time positions to our team roster, and to provide the surrounding area with an increase in employment both through the construction phase of the project and after start-up.”
“The decision by Knauf to invest in their Albion facility rather than in another state means new jobs for area residents and demonstrates the strength of Michigan’s manufacturing workforce,” says Jeff Mason, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corp., which conducts due diligence and administers programs on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). “This project is the result of the efforts of many state and local partners, and we’re pleased to support that collaboration.”
As a result of Knauf’s investment and job creation, the MSF has approved a $204,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project. MSF also approved a 100 percent, 15-year State Essential Services Act exemption valued at $708,325.
“The City of Albion is proud to be part of the growing Knauf Insulation team,” states Albion Mayor Dave Atchison. “Knauf is a valued member of the Albion community. We applaud this new investment in Albion. As Knauf grows – Albion grows too.”
The project, which is expected to be completed in early Q4 2020, is driven in part by the growing demand for energy-efficient new-home construction as well as increasing the energy efficiency of existing homes through the addition of attic insulation.
“Loose-fill insulation is more popular than ever with weatherization top of mind for building professionals,” says Matt Parrish, President and CEO of KINA. “Our premium blowing wool insulation is designed with optimal thermal properties and excellent coverage and blowing characteristics.”
In line with its focus on sustainability, the process technology associated with this expansion will utilize post-consumer bottle glass recovered through the state of Michigan’s Bottle Deposit Law. Millions of bottles are diverted from landfills to be utilized in the manufacturing of Knauf Insulation products which go on to save energy for the next 100 years in homes and buildings in Michigan and across the country.
“Our dedication to the world we live in is genuine, and the Albion plant renovation is a true demonstration of that commitment,” Parrish says. “From reducing our own carbon footprint and sourcing renewable, abundant resources for our energy-saving insulation, to encouraging our employees to make a difference in their local communities, our commitment is ever present and something that we are extremely proud of.”