Finland: insulation sector sees difficult times ahead

The Finnish insulation sector does not see new requirements concerning energy efficiency bringing significant additional demand in the next few years. The insulation sector is suffering a downturn in …

The Finnish insulation sector does not see new requirements concerning energy efficiency bringing significant additional demand in the next few years. The insulation sector is suffering a downturn in the wake of the slowdown in the construction sector. Thermal insulation manufacturers have waited eagerly for the new requirements but only a few construction companies and house building have started to favour energy-saving solutions. According to Finnish insulation producer Paroc, the insulation sector will decline at a rate of 10% a year in 2008 and 2009. The use of more efficient insulation may increase sales by perhaps 1%. In future, consumption of insulation per built unit will increase by at least 10%-15%. When the economy takes an upward turn, the insulation sector can expect growth of over 20% after 2010. Glass wool manufacturer Saint-Gobain Rakennustuotteet does not expect demand to pick up before 2010. The company is planning projects to develop its glass wool furnaces in both Forssa and Hyvink, in Finland. The aim of the projects is to reduce the energy consumption of manufacturing technology. Insulation company Thermisol is preparing production cuts, and fears that 2010 will be particularly difficult for the sector. Low-energy solutions are being introduced by only a few forward-thinking construction companies.