Illange is open for business

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Illange is open for business
October 23, 2019

Our new €110 million plant in Illange is now up and running.

Our new site in Illange, France, has created 123 new jobs and is expected to bring an annual financial benefit to the region of up to €20 million.

Plant Manager Alain Rysman says: “The plant will produce 110,000 tonnes of our Rock Mineral Wool every
year – enough insulation to renovate 25,000 homes.

Demand in Western Europe is soaring for our non-combustible, energy-saving solutions with France in particular committing to the renovation of 500,000 homes every year.”

Illange new plant france

Alain Rysman, Plant Manager, says: “Every arrangement has been made to protect the health of our colleagues, neighbours and the local environment. We are well below World Health Organization and European recommendations in every area of environmental impact and every best-available technology at our site meets the highest standards of sustainable best practice.”

Rodrigue Durand, National Building Envelope Manager, says: “Our Rock Mineral Wool offers highly effective performance when it comes to acoustics, energy saving and fire safety. At the plant absolutely nothing is wasted — any residue is fed back into production — this material is 100% recyclable. We will be supplying Benelux, Italy and Germany but 50% of our material will go to France where there are ambitious national plans to reduce building energy use by 2030.”

Laure Robert, Logistics Manager, says: “There have been a lot of factory closures nearby so the creation of a new business is good news for the region. We also work closely with local companies, our pallet suppliers, for example, are less than an hour away. We also use local waterways to transit most of our raw materials.”

Catherine Naveau, Human Resources Manager, says: “We held interviews based on candidates’ motivation rather than their CV. Our youngest colleague is 19, our oldest is 57. We wanted to offer a real chance to people who had faced social problems or long-term unemployment. We have 123 jobs, but we are having an impact on many more people — such as families and service providers. We also have a mix of backgrounds, ages and experience. Almost 50% of the workforce is made up of women.”

Thomas Mehl, Health, Safety and Environment Manager, says: “Safety is everyone’s responsibility. This message must be reinforced through continuous improvement and the modelling of safe behaviour — never being afraid to challenge anything or anyone who is unsafe. Meanwhile in terms of Green Building Rating Scheme certification, we are working with OsmoZ which focuses on environmental health and being certified by HQE which examines issues such as waste.

Every best-available technology at our site meets the highest standards of sustainable best practice.
Alain Rysman, Plant Manager

The majority of our colleagues at Illange are from the local community.

Colleagues from across the business worked to train and support the local team.

Mapping out the future: Arnaud Schweitzer of environmental association AICINI with Lydia Laville, plant assistant and Illange resident.




123 jobs created plus up to 400 indirect jobs

Region will benefit from €20 million annually

A year’s capacity is enough to insulate 25,000 buildings

€110 million site cost puts the plant in top 10 of investments in France.


We are working with local environment association AICINI to ensure that the 7.5 hectares of dedicated green space at our Illange site becomes a haven for plants, birds and insect life. Initiatives include extensive hedgerows, the planting of mature trees, and the conversion of half the site into wild meadows. In addition, central gardens will be planted and 3,500m2 of our Urbanscape Green Roof Solution will be installed across buildings.
Collaborating with bee association APIFICA, we have installed hives to produce honey. We are also working with the League for the Protection of Birds and have created refuges for wild birds.




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Discover the rest of our Annual Review 2019