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September 6, 2018 - 3 min

SOPREMA Inaugurates Its New Extruded Polystyrene Thermal Insulation Board Plant in Sherbrooke

Published by SOPREMA Experts

Official photo thumbnail (from left to right): Mr. Richard Voyer, Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of SOPREMA, Ms. Karine Vallières, Member of Parliament for Richmond and Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister (Youth), Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole, Mr. Steve Lussier, Mayor of the City of Sherbrooke, and Mr. Pierre-Étienne Bindschedler, President of SOPREMA.

Sherbrooke, September 5, 2018

Today SOPREMA inaugurated its first extruded polystyrene insulation manufacturing plant in North America in Sherbrooke. The event was attended by Mrs. Karine Vallières, Member for Richmond and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (youth), Mr. Steve Lussier, Mayor of Sherbrooke, Mr. Pierre-Étienne Bindschedler, President of SOPREMA, and Mr. Richard Voyer, Executive Vice President and CEO of the company.

The construction and operation of the new SOPREMA plant will generate economic benefits for the region. So far, its construction has already offered employment to over 30 workers and its activities will create 15 additional jobs over the next three years.

“In the recent years, SOPREMA has been working to improve its offer and extend its expertise in areas other than waterproofing, namely, by manufacturing insulation with high energy performance and low environmental impact. We are very proud of this new plant as it consolidates our leadership as a reference point in insulation,” said Mr. Richard Voyer, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of SOPREMA North America.

Looking Back at the Construction

At the end of 2016, SOPREMA announced the acquisition of a land lot in the Sherbrooke regional industrial park on Robert-Boyd Street. Designed and created by ABCP Architecture, the construction of the 178,000 ft2 building by Construction Bertrand Dionne and several subcontractors started in the summer of 2017.

In May 2018, less than two years after the first announcement, the production line was commissioned, and the company was ready to serve its customers with a production capacity of 300,000 m3 of extruded polystyrene each year.

Employee Well-Being at the Heart of the Decisions

The production line of this plant must operate 24/7. To improve the plant employees’ working conditions, several initiatives have been put in place. They comprise a highly ergonomic production line, numerous windows in the plant, and a vegetated wall in the break room. In addition, SOPREMA has embraced ecological initiatives advocated by the city of Sherbrooke, including offering a bicycle garage for employees who wish to use the bike path leading directly to the plant, and installing many electric car charging stations.

Strong and Versatile Insulation

Extruded polystyrene (XPS) is a closed-cell foam insulation shaped into rigid flat panels. It is mainly used as a thermal insulation for foundation systems, parking lots and inverted roofs, such as green roofs and plaza decks. The SOPREMA group is familiar with extruded polystyrene as it already operates four industrial sites specializing in this technology in Europe.

In carrying out this long-term project, SOPREMA was able to count on the support of the City of Sherbrooke and Sherbrooke Innopole.

“SOPREMA is an inspiring company on many levels, namely as an innovative manufacturer, but also through its strong and dynamic corporate culture,” said Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole. “We are delighted that this multinational has chosen Sherbrooke to pursue its growth. Their establishment brilliantly contributes to the positioning of excellence of the key ‘advanced manufacturing’ sector and will have significant economic benefits for the entire region.”

Steve Lussier, the Mayor of Sherbrooke added: “By choosing Sherbrooke to establish itself, SOPREMA confirms and strengthens the attractiveness of our city. The incentive tools provided by the City are bearing fruit. Sherbrooke is a competitive city, moreover, when it comes to welcoming multinational companies.”