Knauf Group is significantly expanding its activities in Eastern Europe. The insulation division Knauf Insulation plans to expand the company's existing plant in Novi Marof in northeastern

Croatia by adding a new production line. The investment, worth around EUR 120 million, was announced following a meeting between the Managing Partner Alexander Knauf and the Croatian Minister of the Economy Davor Filipovic. It will lead to creating more than70 additional direct jobs at Knauf Insulation.

The plan is to more than double the annual production of the Novi Marof plant. As with its current capacities, Knauf Insulation will predominantly manufacture insulation materials for the construction industry as well as for technical and industrial applications. In addition, systems for green roofs (known as Urbanscape) are also planned to be part of the production portfolio. Construction works are scheduled to start at the end of this year; according to current planning, the new production line should be operational in 2025.

State-of-the-art technology for environmentally friendly production.       The new production line will feature the latest technology and thus make a significant contribution to environmentally friendly production. For example, the use of a state-of-the-art electric melting furnace will reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to conventional technology. The possibility to recycle in the production process will increase by 60 percent, and green electricity sourcing is securedfor the plant. The insulation materials produced on the new line willreduce approximately over 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions over their lifetime. The introduction of state-of-the-art technology is the beginning of the environmentally sound transformation of the entire Novi Marof site.

As before, the expanded plant in Novi Marof, which will then be one of the largest of the Knauf Group's more than 300 production facilities worldwide, will manufacture insulation mainly for foreign markets with a planned export share of around 90 percent. In the case of construction products, these exports will include other neighboring European countries such as Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and

Romania. Technical and industrial insulation and green roof systems, on the other hand, will be supplied from Croatia to all of Europe and overseas.

"Due to its location in the heart of Europe, its highly qualified workforce, and its good infrastructure, Croatia is an attractive investment location. As the world's market leader for modern and sustainable lightweight construction, the expansion of our plant in Novi Marof will also enable us to contribute to the targeted energy-efficient refurbishment of the building stock in Croatia. We are very pleased that the Croatian government supports our investment, particularlyin the context of the

energy turnaround it is striving for", commented Alexander Knauf.

Davor Filipovic , Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, welcomed Knauf's project: "We are glad that a part of Knauf's global business is already successfully operating in the Republic of Croatia. We are extremely interested in Knauf expanding its presence in our country. Therefore, we will provide allpossible support and assistance to the extension project in Novi Marof ."