BASF plans to increase the production capacity of its insulation material Neopor (EPS, expandable polystyrene) in stages at its Ludwigshafen site by around 60,000 metric tons per year from December 2011 and is set to achieve full capacity by October 2013 at the latest.
The gray Neopor is an advanced version of Styropor®. It gets its color and unique performance by the addition of graphite particles – Neopor offers an improved insulating performance of up to 20% over the white EPS insulating material.
The increased capacity will be achieved by expanding existing production plants; this is the second increase in Neopor capacity at the Ludwigshafen site within three years. The international trend towards highly efficient insulating materials, particularly for use in external envelopes, continues apace.
" We are investing in our plants so that we can extend our market leadership in gray EPS insulating materials even further" , explains Dr. Giorgio Greening, Head of BASF's global Foams Business Unit. In 1998, BASF was the first EPS manufacturer to include a gray insulating material in its portfolio. Its additional investment means that the company can offer its customers greater security of supply.
Thermal insulation is demonstrably a major factor in reducing CO2 emissions, which has meant that in recent years energy-saving regulations have become increasingly stringent globally. Neopor is used both in new and in renovated buildings and so makes a significant contribution towards climate protection. In Germany, around 30% of all EPS-based insulating materials are used in new buildings, with 70% going into the renovation of older buildings. This is set to rise to 75% by 2012.
The gray plastic granular material Neopor is the advanced version of the insulation classic Styropor. It contains special graphite particles that reflect heat radiation like a mirror and so reduce heat loss in a house. The granular material is foamed by BASF's customers and converted to insulating boards and molded parts for insulating facades, roofs and floors. Neopor insulating materials meet the standards for passive house construction and in warm climatic zones also save at least 30% of cooling energy for residential buildings.