British Gypsum opens £120-million plants

British Gypsum’s £120-million investment in additional production capacity will be realised this month with the opening of two of the world’s most advanced plaster and plasterboard manufacturing plants. The new plants comprise a plasterboard plant in Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Leeds, and a plaster plant at the company’s East Leake site in Leicestershire. Both have been completed and commissioned on schedule.

The plants lead the global industry in terms of their capabilities and design, and are already operating to World Class Manufacturing standards. They are part of an ongoing development programme to ensure British Gypsum continues to meet the UK construction industry’s growing demand for dry lining products, particularly those which fulfil the increasingly stringent regulations regarding acoustic, fire and thermal performance.

Mike Chaldecott, Managing Director of British Gypsum said: “As the leading supplier of plasterboard and gypsum plasters, we are committed to ongoing investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that lead the global market and enable us to support the UK construction industry.

“Demand for plaster and plasterboard continues to increase and it is essential that we have the production capacity to satisfy this market growth. The new plants in North Yorkshire and Leicestershire will enable us to do this. They are already being hailed as examples of best practice with regard to business planning, project management and health and safety.”

The East Leake plant was opened this month by The Right Honourable Kenneth Clarke QC MP. It will manufacture British Gypsum’s ‘Thistle’ finishing plasters and ‘Gyproc Drywall Adhesive’ from high-grade natural gypsum extracted and processed at the site’s existing mine, which has undergone a £7-million redevelopment as part of this project.

The Sherburn-in-Elmet plant was opened by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of British Gypsum’s parent company, Saint-Gobain. It will manufacture a full range of plasterboard products.

Both sites were chosen by British Gypsum because of their excellent logistics and proximity to raw material sources, as well as their long-standing links with the local communities and local availability of skilled workers.

Demand for plaster and plasterboard has consistently outperformed the general construction market, as a result of the growing popularity of fast track dry lining techniques and ongoing tightening of the regulations covering acoustic performance in new buildings. It is expected that this growth will continue, with year-on-year demand for these products predicted to grow by 4.5% per annum throughout 2007 and 2008.

British Gypsum employs 1450 people at five major manufacturing sites throughout the UK.

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