RANSON, W.Va. — Rockwool North America has begun production at its Jefferson County facility, which is focused on manufacturing stone wool insulation for residential, commercial and industrial needs.
The facility is the company’s newest plant in the United States and marks North America’s first increase in stone wool insulation manufacturing capacity as economic activities resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Rockwool public affairs manager Paul Espinosa, who also serves in the West Virginia House of Delegates, said the opening could not have happened at a better time.
“Rockwool’s experiencing a tremendous growth in demand for our stonewall insulation products across North America, particularly here in the northeast United States,” he said. “We did actually start shipping some product last Friday, July 2.”
According to Espinosa, the company shipped 21 truckloads of stonewall insulation products.
“This week is really our first week of commercial production,” he added. “Really excited to begin that commercial production here at our new Ranson facility.”
The building of the Rockwool facility was controversial; residents voiced concerns about the facility’s possible impact on the environment.
Espinosa told MetroNews on Wednesday a company has been pushing the facility’s economic benefits, and he believes residents have considered the facility’s economic potential.
“I think the response to our hiring campaign is the best indicator of the growing acceptance of our facility,” he said.
The facility opened with 110 employees.
“Many of our key employees have traveled to Europe or to our other facilities in North America to complete their training, and the response we have gotten from our supervisors in those facilities has been excellent,” Espinosa added.
Espinosa said the company plans to have 150 employees once its hiring campaign is complete.