Europe EPS stable on new insulation requirements

15 November 2006 15:54  [Source: ICIS news]

AMSTERDAM (ICIS news)--The expandable polystyrene (EPS) market in western Europe is expected to remain balanced to tight due to new building insulation requirements, offsetting the decline in packaging applications, Nova Innovene's business director for polystyrene said on Wednesday.

Pierre Minguet, speaking at the 5th European Aromatics & Derivatives conference, estimated that the European insulation market for EPS would see more than 20% growth by 2010.

The European Union (EU) recently announced that it would extend the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) to include renovated buildings from 2009, said Minguet. This would include the majority of small buildings.

The EU will also specify minimum energy performance for buildings, he added. Other drivers would include increased energy costs, encouraging better energy efficiencies.

However, he said there was a need to establish what the minimum building energy efficiencies should be. There was also a need to separate thermal insulation and fire performance in buildings to optimise the performance of both.

Minguet estimated the total EPS market in Europe at 1.21m tonnes with construction applications including building insulation accounting for 70% of demand.

The conference, organised by ICIS conferences and International eChem, continues tomorrow (16 November).

By: Peter Taffe
+44 20 8652 3214

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