UK's Zotefoams opts for new plant site in SW Poland

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New plant designed to meet an expected shortfall in the firm’s ‘AZOTE’ polyolefin foam production output.

UK-based cellular materials producer Zotefoams plc., which announced it plans to invest around €26m to build a new plant in mainland Europe by 2020, is targeting a site in Poland.

Croydon, London-based Zotefoams, has earmarked a development site of approximately 7 ha. in the A4 motorway corridor close to such centres as Wroclaw, Opole and Katowice in the country’s south-western region.

Details of the firm’s preferred site were not immediately identified last month when Zotefoams unveiled the project because a decision was still subject to attracting suitable local investment incentives and approvals.

Its central Europe plant, due to start up in 2020, is designed to meet an expected shortfall in the firm’s ‘AZOTE’ polyolefin foam production output. Once operating, the facility will add 20% to overall capacity, taking that to 300,000tpa, with adequate space and infrastructure to double the plant’s production in future, according to the company.

The planned operation, with a capacity of between 45,000 – 50,000m3 of foam material, will focus initially on polyolefin foams production. But its product range will be flexible with the option of also producing the firm’s high performance product (HPP) foams, it said.

The Polish plant, partly planned with ‘Brexit’ in mind, will provide a logistics hub for Europe and a regional production centre for Zotefoams’s ‘T-FIT’ technical insulation products. Expansion there will offer additional capacity taking account of the lack of new development space available at the company’s base plant in Croydon, England.

Zotefoams has pursued an ambitious investment programme in Europe and North America in recent years with Poland representing its third plant. The firm has committed around €35.7m to expanding its US plant in Walton, Kentucky with spending on extrusion, infrastructure and two high-pressure autoclaves.

At Croydon, Zotefoams is constructing a new hall for two low-pressure autoclaves with associated infrastructure at a cost of around €14m.

Zotefoams is financing the latest capital investment project through a share placement to raise about €23.5m and has negotiated a €65.6m, five year secured debt facility through two banks to replace existing debt facilities.

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