Gypsum industry news
Ukraine: Saint-Gobain plans to build a gypsum wallboard plant in the Tlumach district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. The Euro65m project includes the construction of two building materials units in the area, according to Interfax. A construction materials plant is scheduled for completion at the end of 2017 followed by a wallboard plant by early 2018. Both plants will be located near to the Khotymyr gypsum deposit. The new units are expected to create around 300 jobs.
Brazil: Saint-Gobain has finalised its purchase of the distribution network of Tumelero Materiais de Construção sales outlets in Rio Grande do Sul. The distribution company operates a portfolio of building materials and services for the construction industry including 29 sales outlets and nearly 1000 staff.
Following the acquisition Saint-Gobain says it will run the country's largest network of distribution sales outlets for home improvement products and services in Brazil with a total of 70 outlets operating under the Telhanorte, Telhanorte Conceito, Pro Telhanorte and Tumelero brands in 46 cities in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul states. The transaction has been approved by the Brazilian competition regulator CADE.
Canada: Residents rebuilding their homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta will be compensated for duties liable on gypsum wallboard imported from the US. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement, according to the Canadian Press. A source quoted by the agency said that it is part of the government's response to a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that lobbied it to cut duties imposed on wallboard products being imported into Western Canada from the US. The CITT ruled that gypsum wallboard imports from the US had 'hurt' the local industry in January 2017 but, in a separate ruling, it also recognised that competition had been 'substantially' reduced in Western Canada.
Thomas J Plath appointed Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Global Citizenship at International Paper27 February 2017
US: Thomas J Plath has been elected by the board of directors of International Paper to become Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Global Citizenship, from effect from 1 March 2017. Plath joined International Paper in 1991, serving most recently as Vice President, Human Resources, Global Businesses.
The company also announced the retirement of Thomas G Kadien, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Government Relations and Global Citizenship. Kadien joined the company in 1978 and will retire effective 30 June 2017.
France: Saint-Gobain's Interior Solutions division's sales rose by 1.5% year-on-year to Euro6.58bn in 2016 from Euro6.49bn in 2015. Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 9.6% to Euro982m from Euro896m. It attributed the rise in sales to good growth in the first half of the year with growth in most regions. It also noted that productivity gains and a fall in costs, particularly energy, drove a 'sharp' improvement in its operating margin.
"Saint-Gobain showed strong progress in its 2016 results. We saw the benefits of our optimisation efforts and of our development in emerging markets, in a more supportive economic environment than 2015. As expected, France stabilised over the year as new-build activities recovered. All other regions enjoyed good momentum. The group also benefited from its focus on pricing against a backdrop of lower energy and raw material costs," said Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain.
Switzerland: Sika's net sales rose by 4.7% year-on-year to Euro5.40bn in 2016 from Euro5.16bn in 2015. Its net profit rose by 21.8% to Euro533m from Euro437m. the company attributed this to growth in all regions.
"We continued our growth strategy with great success in the 2016 business year, once again increasing both sales and earnings. Operating profit, net profit and operating free cash flow reached new records. By opening nine new factories, establishing four more national subsidiaries and acquiring four companies, we have laid the foundations for ongoing future growth," said chief executive officer Jan Jenisch.
UK: Nottingham County Council has granted permissions to the Marblaegis Mine near British Gypsum's East Leake wallboard plant to operate for a further 17 years. The mine was originally licensed to operate until the end of 2025 but can now operate until 2042.
"The phasing out of coal-fired power stations means we have reducing access to synthetic gypsum or desulphogypsum, also called DSG, an important by-product we have been recycling into plasterboard since the early 1990s. We need to counteract this reduction in DSG output by increasing supply from mined and quarried natural gypsum as well as continuing to support plasterboard recycling programmes," said Jeremy Elvins, minerals and estates manager at British Gypsum to Inside Media.
The mine has an installed production capacity of 600,000t/yr but only 250,000t/yr is extracted at present. The mine supports 26 full-time staff at present although the nearby wallboard plant employs 264 staff and 125 contractors.
US: USG is celebrating the centennial anniversary of its Sheetrock brand, developed as the world's first wallboard panel in 1917. To observe the anniversary USG is hosting celebrations across North America with its employees, dealers and customers. Limited quantities of commemorative products celebrating the anniversary will also be shared with customers and dealers.
"From the first simple wallboard panel developed 100 years ago to the breadth of high-performing panels available today, USG has led the industry in innovation," said Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of USG Corporation. "We are thrilled to celebrate a century of excellence and product leadership. We are proud that USG's Sheetrock brand is one of the world's most recognised brands."