Knauf Insulation’s McGregor site in North America will create 150 new jobs and produce 46 million m2 of Mineral Wool every year when it opens in 2024.
The new site in Texas, North America, is scheduled to open in 2024 and will be a company showcase for plant excellence.
The facility is the seventh Knauf Insulation site in the U.S. and when the 56,000 m2 plant is complete, it will produce 46 million m2 of Mineral Wool every year — enough to insulate 125,000 homes — creating 150 new jobs in the process.
Kevin McHugh, Senior Vice President Strategic Projects, who is overseeing the project, says: “We are proud that this project has brought together the finest minds from around the international Knauf Insulation network.
“This means a wealth of best practices and experience is being invested in McGregor based on insight from building our new plants in France and Malaysia as well as major upgrades at our sites across North America and Europe. Maximizing this knowledge will mean McGregor will be a showcase for company excellence.”
The site will also feature the most efficient and innovative manufacturing machinery available globally with the company’s procurement teams having sourced the best performing technology from different countries around the world.
This technology will ensure customers can expect the highest quality solutions when McGregor’s Glass Mineral Wool rolls, batts, slabs, Blowing Wool and OEM products start to hit the production line.
Caring for customers
Breaking ground for the plant in May 2022, Matt Parrish, CEO of Knauf Insulation North America, said: “We are thrilled to break ground on Knauf’s new North American manufacturing operations in McGregor, Texas. We believe the timing is right for our growth.”
Alexander Knauf, General Partner of the Knauf Group, said: “Our new site is the centre piece of Knauf Insulation’s growth strategy and an investment that shows we care for
Demand for high quality Mineral Wool solutions in the Texas region had been high for many years, as the regional construction market shows prospects.
Virtual Builders Exchange (VBX), which tracks construction projects, estimated that there could be as much as US$535 billion in potential construction projects in Texas for 2022.
VBX’s research also found the number of residential projects in Texas, such as condos, apartment complexes and housing estates, had almost doubled to 251 for 2022 compared to 2020.
By mid 2023 the main plant building of McGregor is scheduled for completion and ready for the installation of equipment. While plans are underway for the extension of a rail-track and road to the site by McGregor’s municipality.
In addition to the new jobs created at the plant, Knauf Insulation estimates that the economic benefits of the plant to Central Texas will be more than US$2 billion in the first 10 years.
Meanwhile, the infrastructure investment of US$20 million will accelerate growth in the region including the creation of more than 300 indirect jobs.
McGregor’s Mayor, James Hering, described the new plant as “creating significant new employment for skilled trades as well as new opportunities for local businesses and service providers”.
Photo: a window display in downtown McGregor
Alexander Knauf said the new plant was a celebration of trust and the strong relationship that has been forged between Knauf Insulation and the McGregor community.
Recent Knauf Insulation community events have included a festive KindleMarket celebration for more than 900 McGregor residents, sponsorship of chamber of commerce events, support for a new video scoreboard for the McGregor Bulldogs’ football stadium and charity collections for the McGregor Firefighter Auxiliary.
Knauf Insulation has also established a window display in downtown McGregor where residents can catch up on updated information about the plant and new jobs.
Matt Parrish, CEO of Knauf Insulation North America, said: “The warm welcome we have received from McGregor residents and leaders — and the immense interest in job opportunities— has been beyond even our best expectations.”
Mollie Toland, Knauf Insulation’s Director of Brand & Culture, said: “We want to be a good neighbor and we are excited to be involved in many aspects of the community from the schools and chamber of commerce to the mayor’s office and football team.
“We have only just started, and we are looking forward to announcing many more community initiatives in future.”
Putting people first at McGregor
Three key leadership positions were filled more than a year before our McGregor plant was scheduled to open — the plant manager, HR manager and HSE manager.
The appointments mark a new direction for Knauf Insulation, says Kevin McHugh, Senior Vice President Strategic Projects of Knauf Insulation North America, who is overseeing the construction of the plant.
“Appointing an HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) executive so far in advance of the launch demonstrates real commitment to the culture of the plant by embedding safety procedures, processes and protocols into every aspect of the plant and its operation before a single brick is laid,” he says.
“This has not been done before at our plants and we should be proud of what is an important professional step in the right direction.”
Photo: Kevin McHugh, Senior Vice President Strategic Projects of Knauf Insulation North America
Focus on community
The McGregor start-up team has launched a series of innovative initiatives in terms of recruiting local employees.
Knauf Insulation is forging close partnerships with technical colleges, state colleges, local schools and even the Fort Hood military base near McGregor where 35,000 soldiers are billeted.
“Knauf Insulation North America has never implemented such a community drive before a plant launch but we want to find the best colleagues to work at our plant and demonstrate to them the incredible opportunities that are available to them at McGregor,” says Kevin.