Kingspan and Quinn exposed to insulation ingredient shortage

Insulation group ‘confident’ issue won’t have material effect on its business

Kingspan and Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd have been forced to temporarily curtail the supply of some insulation ranges as the European provider of a key ingredient has run short of stocks.

Kingspan has written to customers in recent weeks to give them notice that a supplier of a key component for its Therma insulation range has been forced by unforeseen circumstances to cut back supplies to the group.

The Cavan-based company, led by chief executive Gene Murtagh, told customers it could only supply them with a fraction of their average weekly purchases of this product range for a period. It comes at a time when Ireland is already grappling with a housing crisis, with building in Dublin and surrounding counties, in particular, running short of demand.

“Along with others in our industry, we expect to experience supply constraints next month of an input that is used to manufacture one of our five insulation cores. Our suppliers expect the issue to be resolved in six weeks,” Kingspan said response to questions.


The company said it is “confident this will not have a material impact on the overall business” and that it is looking to provide substitute products where appropriate. Analysts, on average, see Kingspan posting 23 per cent growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation this year, to €390 million.

Customer allocations

A spokesman for Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd said its Quinn Therm insulation unit is “adopting a managed approach in customer allocations in the short term”, as it grapples with “tighter” supplies in Europe of methylene diphenyl disocyante (MDI), which is used to make polyurethanes used in insulation.

Earlier this month, a key manufacturer of MDI, Covestro, which is a unit of German chemicals giant Bayer, said it was forced to restrict supply to customers because of an "unforeseen production outage at a supplier of nitric acid". A spokesman declined to identify the supplier.

The global supply of MDI had already been under pressure since last month when a manufacturing plant owned by China's Wanhau Chemical Group suffered a fatal explosion, killing four people. The plant accounts for 8 per cent of global supply of MDI, according to analysts.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times