Gypsum industry news
Switzerland: The Board of Directors of Sika has made a series of management changes that will take effect from 1 April 2017.
Thomas Hasler, the Chief Technology Officer, has been appointed as the Head of Industry. The Target Market Industry serves the markets automobile and commercial vehicle industry, automotive aftermarket, renewable energies, and facade engineering. The new position will also include responsibility for the two global business units Automotive and Tooling & Composites.
Yumi Kan, the Head Building Systems & Industry, has been appointed as the Head of Construction which will include markets in concrete, waterproofing, refurbishment, sealing and bonding, flooring and roofing. Combining these markets is intended to enable Sika to strengthen its services for global customers and key accounts as well as for large construction projects with cross-selling potential.
Ernesto Schuemperli, the Head of Concrete & Waterproofing, has been appointed as the Head of Infrastructure & Mining, directly reporting to the chief executive officer. He will also support the change to the new organisation of the target markets.
Frank Hoefflin, currently the Technology Head of Thermoplastic Systems, has been appointed as the Chief Technology Officer and member of group management. Hoefflin joined Sika in the USA and has worked in both the USA and Switzerland in various research and development functions. He holds a PhD from the University of Freiburg in Germany and is a US and German citizen.
Heinz Gisel, currently the Regional Manager for Asia/Pacific, has decided to step down from his position in order to take a sabbatical. Gisel will return in the second half of 2017 and assume a new position within Sika.
Mike Campion, currently Head of Area Greater China, has been appointed as the Regional Manager of Asia/Pacific and member of the group management. Campion joined Sika in the USA and has held several management positions in the USA and China. He holds a degree in Science from Villanova University, Pennsylvania, and is a US citizen.
Belgium: Revenue from Etex's Building Performance division rose slightly to Euro1.44bn in 2016 from Euro1.43bn in 2015. The division produces gypsum wallboard as well as fibre cement boards and other dry construction materials. The group said that it had posted sound results in 2016, particularly in Europe, its largest market, where it performed within expectations.
However, the company's overall revenue fell by 5.6% year-on-year to Euro2.88bn from Euro3.05bn. It blamed this on the sale of its ceramics floor and wall tiles business in Latin America and unfavourable exchange rates. On a like-for-like basis it said that its revenue rose by 1.5% in the period. Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 10.4% to Euro404m from Euro366m.
China: China National Building Material Company's (CNDM) gypsum wallboard sales volumes rose by 13.1% year-on-year to 1.64Bnm2 in 2016. Sales revenue from the group's lightweight building materials section, that produces wallboard, rose by 8% to US$1.12bn in 2016 from US$1.03bn in 2015. The building materials producer said that improved marketing had helped it maintain its lead as the largest wallboard producer in China. The group runs BNBM and Taishan Gypsum.
Belarus: Knauf is expected to become the joint owner of Belgips in April 2017 when Belorussian and Russian competition bodies approve its purchase of half of the company from Russia's Volma. Following the transaction Volma will own the remaining half of the gypsum wallboard producer, according to Business News Belarus. The move follows a decision by Volma to concentrate on the Russian market. The Belorussian government has already approved the deal.
US: USG has released Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels, a lightweight gypsum wallboard panel with sustainable credentials. The panel is based on USG's UltraLight Panels and USG's Corporate Innovation Centre developed new gypsum core chemistries and a manufacturing process to reduce 20% of carbon dioxide emissions and decrease water usage by 25%. It is being released in the US in two core formulations for fire and non-fire-rated applications.
The product was developed in response to the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products in July 2016. It may also contribute to achieving additional US Green Building Council (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED v4.0 credits and meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
"There has been a significant movement in the architecture community to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector," said Edward Mazria, chief executive officer and founder of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. "Yet, to fully achieve our goal for the building sector to become carbon-neutral by 2050, manufacturers like USG must quickly rise to the occasion and develop sustainable, low-carbon and zero-carbon building materials."
Australia: Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt toured the construction site of Knauf Australia's US$53m wallboard manufacturing facility near Bundaberg on Wednesday 15 March 2017. Construction of the plant began in early 2016.
"Knauf Australia is well on the way to completing its plasterboard manufacturing factory at the Port of Bundaberg and is expected to commission the plant by mid-July and begin production in August," said Pitt. "Knauf considered a number of locations for its new plant to service the northern Australian markets, including some offshore options. Attracting a global operation like Knauf to Bundaberg offers many benefits for the local community, including the creation of 60 jobs in the region, and around 70 when full production is reached in two years."