10 July 2020


On the growth highway


The Indian insulation industry is expected to receive a major fillip following a recent state government directive requiring buildings to adhere to ECBC norms. CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES reports.


The growing emphasis on energy efficient building structures has led to an increase in the demand and use of polyurethane materials, the principal materials used in insulation applications, as a means to reduce energy loss.  In that context India’s insulation industry, yet relatively new, is expected to get a major shot in the arm with the recent policy announcement by the Andhra Pradesh government bringing to law the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) norms.


The policy decision, while giving a major fillip to the movement for sustainability, will also hugely profit the Green Building business which derives majorly from the insulation sector. The AP directive, for instance, is expected to be a boon for manufacturers of polyurethane (PU) and help in generating demand for it not only in the state, but across the country as other regions seek to emulate the southern state.


Right now the applicability of insulation industry products in India is relatively low as compared to other countries.  The Indian market for insulation is approximately 150,000 metric tonne. Insulation materials like PU currently find applications mainly in areas like construction – with very few green buildings being built and consumption levels low, the building insulation business in the country is still young – shipbuilding, HVAC, transport, automotive sector, the furniture and bedding industry, footwear and appliances and acoustic segments. 


“Over the period the Indian insulation industry has gained growth momentum and has performed comparatively well but it is not good enough because the target reduction of energy intensity of GDP is still quite unreachable in the present scenario. The market is looking for low priced products to cut down the costs, says Biswajit Roy, Manager- Building Solution, U.P Twiga Fiberglass.


The latest legislation will offer business prospects for the insulation industry which will stem from the creation of new structures apart from existing ones and retrofits. “Projects that are going for green ratings incorporate insulation in the roof or wall design and complies ECBC. The recent move by Andhra Government will no doubt will create a huge opportunity for us,” avers Roy.


Legislation coupled with increasing awareness will be the key drivers of demand for insulation products. Being an energy deficient country there is a huge opportunity for players in the insulation segment to push various insulating materials in the market including polyurethane.  The Indian Polyurethane Association (IPUA) through its India Insulation Forum (IIF) has been at the forefront of promoting the cause of insulation in buildings.


As a result of this aggressive push the per capita consumption of PU, currently low, is expected to go up in the future with sustained growth of the economy, an expanding middle class with rising incomes, increase in urbanisation and investments in infrastructure growth. The major change will be seen in the buildings segment which is among the biggest consumers of energy – it uses about 30 per of the overall energy in Asia – with municipalities and other urban local bodies making incorporation of insulation compulsory in structures in order to conserve energy.


“The potential for use of thermal insulation products both for the industrial, power and building industry is large, provided we bring laws as essential for the industrial growth requirements in the country,” says Atul Khanna, General Manager – Insulation Division (Thermal and Sound), Supreme Industries.  “Our building laws require being more adaptive to the changing world wide scenario and be able to consider newer materials, procedures for their adoption and at the same time sensitive to the environmental", he added.


Way forward


With increased prospects PU majors will be looking to increase capacity across India. Companies like Huntsman have already expanded their facility at Pune to meet with PU requirements while BASF has drawn up plans to invest up to Rs 1000 crore in a new site which will house an integrated hub for polyurethane manufacturing.


The findings of a new research report entitled “Specialty Contractor Industry: World Insulation Market” offer a positive outlook. The global market for insulation products, which suffered during the 2008-09 financial crisis, is expected to tote up a 5 per cent growth per annum for the next five years, thanks to rising concerns over energy consumption which will spur the demand for insulation products.


Looked at by product category, foamed plastic insulation segment will see strongest growth. This material is commonly used in construction because of its high insulation values which are superior to fiberglass and mineral wool insulation. Strong demand for this insulation material also comes from refrigerator and freezer manufacturers. Fibre glass insulation will benefit from the rebounding residential construction market in North America, as the material is widely used in the US and Canada.


While the demand is expected to pick up across most markets, the fastest growth is likely to be seen from the Asia


Pacific region particularly China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand.


In value terms the insulation market will be driven by an approximately 7 per cent rise in consumption through 2016 to reach about $60 billion. But for forward movement the Indian insulation products industry will require the support of the government, more testing laboratories, product standards and policies in order to tide the challenges towards achieving more business.



  • The Indian market for insulation is approximately 150,000 metric tonne
  • The fastest growth is likely to be seen from the Asia Pacific region particularly China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand.
  • In value terms insulation market will see 7 % rise in consumption through 2016 to reach about $60 billion
  • The global market for insulation products is expected to tote up a 5 per cent growth per annum for the next five years

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