New jobs expected with £37m investment at Superglass manufacturing facility

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA with cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA with cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown

Glass wool insulation firm Superglass is to benefit from one of the largest investments in Scottish engineering and manufacturing in recent years, doubling its capacity and creating new jobs on the site.

The owner of TechnoNICOL (the largest manufacturer of construction materials in Russia and Eastern Europe), Sergey Kolesnikov, is to invest £36.8 million (€42.3m) in the Stirling company’s facility at Thistle Industrial Estate.

Since Mr. Kolesnikov’s acquisition of Superglass in 2016 through his Inflection Management Corporation vehicle, the business has entered into a close partnership with TechnoNICOL and is now a key regional hub for the Russian construction materials giant.

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA, which incorporates the Superglass business, said: “TechnoNICOL’s backing is a real vote of confidence in Scottish manufacturing, both in terms of the quality of the work we do here and the expertise of the workforce. It is a validation of our strategy within Superglass over recent years and very personally satisfying for me to see further consolidation of the initial investment at our regional headquarters.

“It is also an important milestone in the total transformation that this business has experienced over the last three years – we have delivered a £10m improvement in profitability over this period and significant double digit sales growth in the current year.

“With this investment, we will have spent close to £50m on this site since the acquisition of Superglass and this is a further statement of intent regarding the long-term future of our Stirling operations. By our estimations, it’s also one of the biggest single inward investments made in Scotland’s manufacturing sector for a long time. It’s an exciting time for the business. We’ve got significant growth ambitions and this investment will certainly help propel us towards achieving those goals.”

TechnoNICOL has 52 manufacturing facilities across Russia and Europe, but it has opted to throw its weight behind Superglass.

The investment will deliver a significant growth in new full-time jobs over the next 18 months to accommodate and fulfil the increased capacity. These jobs will be created across the breadth of the organisation, but primarily in the operations team as well as in product marketing and innovation.

This project will take Superglass beyond environmental compliance, and builds on the company recently being awarded Scotland’s first ever Sustainable Growth Agreement by SEPA, while allowing the plant to double its output from 27,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes annually within two years.

Substantial building work will take place on the site to accommodate production equipment, including a 187-tonne furnace and curing ovens. Cooling, cutting and milling equipment will be replaced and an automatic packing system will be installed. Building work will start early in the New Year.

Since becoming CEO of Superglass in June 2015, Munro has guided the company through the delisting process and returned it to profitability. He subsequently was appointed to a new role running all TechnoNICOL businesses in the UK, Ireland and North America.

Cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown, said: “This investment, and the jobs it will create, is excellent news for Stirling and for the wider Scottish economy. It rightly shows real confidence in the highly-skilled Scottish workforce.

“It will help position the Stirling site to take advantage of greater opportunities in the future and will also help to deliver significant environmental benefits.

“I am delighted that Scottish Enterprise has been able to support this project with a grant of £477,000.

“I wish Superglass every success for the future and look forward hearing of the team’s achievements in the years to come.”

Superglass’ expansion is backed by Scottish Enterprise with the economic development agency committing £477,000 towards the project.

Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise services at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Superglass is an ambitious Scottish company with a strong leadership team clearly focussed on its long term success. Through our account management support we work intensively with Ken and his team offering advice and assistance to support this growth ambition.

“Recognising the importance and strength of its Stirling site, together with our contribution, Superglass has successfully secured the investment needed from its Cyprus-based parent company.  As well as bringing new jobs and investment to Scotland, this project will also help improve efficiencies in its manufacturing processes and open up new European markets and potentially future research and development activities. I look forward to continuing to work with the company and wish it every success for the future.”

Mark Bevan, CEO of SCDI, added: “It’s great to see companies like Superglass thriving in Scotland. It is an innovative employer and manufacturer, working with recycled materials to create insulation products that provide an obvious benefit to the environment and economy. We are pleased to hear of this significant vote of confidence from the company’s owners, which will also create much needed high-quality jobs in Stirling.”

And finally… Superglass gives Santa the gift of warmth

Santa Claus and Andy Murray Photograph by Martin Shields  Tel 07572 457000 © Martin Shields

Santa Claus and Andy Murray

Stirling-based manufacturer Superglass has gone straight on to Santa’s nice list after gifting him insulation to make his grotto toastier than ever.

While in residence at his seasonal Christmas cabin at the Woodland Experience in Balfron, Santa will enjoy the cosy new grotto where he will be based throughout chilly December.

Superglass’ sales director, Andy Murray, paid a visit to Santa to deliver the rolls of insulation and to try out as one of his helpers.

Andy said: “It’s a great privilege to meet Santa Claus in person. Every year he brings presents for children around the world, so we thought it was about time that we gave him something back, especially when he’s coming all the way to Scotland.

“The Santa Experience is a family favourite for people from across central Scotland, and we wanted to help keep Santa warm as he meets the children.”

Ken Hendry, owner of the Woodland and Santa Experience, said: “While it’s a little bit warmer than his North Pole base, Santa’s grotto in Balfron can get very cold in December. Thanks to Superglass though, this year will be a welcome break from the chill for Old Saint Nick.”

Superglass provided Multi Roll Loft Insulation to insulate the grotto at North Ballochruin Farm, less than an hour from both Stirling and Glasgow.

Superglass signs Scotland’s first Sustainable Growth Agreement

Superglass CEO Ken Munro (left) with SEPA chief executive Terry A’Hearn

Superglass CEO Ken Munro (left) with SEPA chief executive Terry A’Hearn

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has signed Scotland’s first Sustainable Growth Agreement at a launch event with Stirling-based manufacturer Superglass Insulation Limited.

The agreement (SGA), signed by SEPA chief executive Terry A’Hearn and Superglass CEO Ken Munro, is the first of its kind and centres on six commitments to proactively enhance the environmental performance of the company over the next four years.

The commitments specifically target a reduction in water usage, waste and CO2 emissions from the Superglass facility, while continuing to seek the use of innovative technologies to increase the use of renewable energy sources – with support and assistance from SEPA. The agreement promotes a strong emphasis on engagement with local groups to improve the economic, social and environmental outcomes of the surrounding community.

SGAs are a core component of SEPA’s pioneering Regulatory Strategy, One Planet Prosperity, which was unveiled in August, 2016. Each SGA represents a formal agreement with SEPA, entered into on a voluntary basis by regulated businesses, with the focus primarily on practical actions to deliver positive environmental change.

Mr A’Hearn, who delivered a speech at the Superglass’ Innovation Centre in Stirling yesterday, said: “This agreement marks a milestone for environmental management in Scotland. It commits SEPA and Superglass to a set of practical actions, not vague words. These actions will improve the environment, strengthen Superglass’ business viability and benefit the local community. This is what 21st Century environmental management must deliver.

“Superglass meets Scotland’s environmental standards, but it wants to go further. SEPA is delighted to support Superglass in its efforts to make further environmental gains in its manufacturing processes, its transport systems and its products.

“We are also delighted that other parties such as Stirling Council, Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust are joining this effort. Together, we hope to support an innovative Scottish company show that environmental excellence can create commercial success in a tough and uncertain global economy.”

Mr Munro added: “I am pleased and proud to be signing Scotland’s first Sustainable Growth Agreement today. We have invested heavily in new technology and improved processes, with excellent results. We have shown that delivering hard commercial results and improving environmental performance are complementary objectives.

“This is a marker on a journey on us, and not the finish line. This year we will be increasing our level of water recycling and installing an energy capture system. Energy efficiency is our core purpose, and we will work with SEPA to ensure that we build on this success and make still further gains in this area. It is at the heart of our commercial strategy, as well as our environmental one.”

Cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The Sustainable Growth Agreement sets out the real on the ground actions that SEPA, working with individual companies, can take beyond regulatory compliance.

“I look forward to seeing the first growth agreements deliver benefits to businesses, communities and the environment.”

The full SGA document is available on the Better Environmental Regulation page of the SEPA website, along with a guiding principles document outlining the broader aims of SGAs.

Superglass agrees £8.7m takeover

SuperglassStirling based insulation maker Superglass has been sold to a Russian roofing billionaire for £8.7 million.

The UK’s only independent manufacturer of glass mineral wool insulation agreed a 5.6p a share offer from Sergey Kolesnikov, the sole shareholder of Cyprus-registered Inflection, and also president and managing partner of TechnoNICOL, a leading Russian roofing and insulation group.

When the company floated in 2007, it was valued at more than £100m. The firm has suffered amid weak demand for government-backed energy efficiency schemes, but results in April showed it had trimmed its half-year losses to £500,000, down from £1.9m a year earlier, following a 2 per cent rise in revenues to £10.5m.

Superglass is to sign an agreement with TechnoNICOL for distributing its construction products in the UK and Ireland.

Chairman Mark Cubitt says employees will be more secure with a “much larger multinational player in the building materials market”.

He added: “This offer is good for all stakeholders in Superglass.

“For shareholders, it represents an all cash premium of 114 per cent to the pre-deal announcement price and a meaningful premium to the 2014 placing price; and for employees it offers the prospect of access to the opportunities, products, distribution channels and funding support of a much larger multinational player in the building materials market to build on the already significant progress made in the last year under the new management team.”

Kolesnikov said that, over time, Superglass is set to become the leading distributor of Technonicol Construction’s products in the UK and Ireland.

“This transaction and the commercial partnership between Superglass and Technonicol is a strategic opportunity for all parties, providing Technonicol with a presence in the UK and Irish insulation markets,” Kolesnikov said.

“We are impressed with Superglass’ management team and look forward to working with them.”