Innovation is at the heart of Jotun’s culture. The Norwegian headquartered business, with operations in 45 countries, is committed to an on-going programme of research and development (R&D). This results in unique protective coatings such as the Steelmaster range and Jotachar, the industry’s first mesh free solution for hydrocarbon and jet fires, tailor-made to meet the most exacting requirements of industry, consumers and regulators worldwide.
Jotun is now seeking to expand its specialist team of fire protection chemists and products in response to increasing demand within the infrastructure, oil, gas, petrochemical and energy sectors.
“We’re experiencing sustained growth in our advanced fire protection coatings segment and we want to build on that momentum,” explains James Irving, Jotun R&D Manager. “We already have a cutting-edge fire and insulation research facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and this new centre will work in tandem with that established team, increasing capacity and accelerating new developments.
“The UK is a center of excellence for passive fire protection technology, with a strong network of third party test facilities, classification societies and safety specialists. It’s therefore an obvious choice for this major investment, which we believe will help attract exactly the kind of dedicated, high-level talent we’re looking for to develop further ground-breaking passive fire protection solutions.”
Jotun has been owned and operated the Flixborough site since 1989. The new investment will see the creation of a 1,600 sq. meter, two-floor facility, featuring two furnace areas (to test intumescent paints), laboratories, mill rooms, offices and plant space. In addition, an impressive atrium and viewing gallery will overlook the application spaces and conditioning rooms, while a VIP area will provide clients with a unique perspective of the furnaces, giving them a first-hand view of the fire testing process.
“This is an investment with the potential to create a hugely positive ripple effect,” comments Irving. “Our customers will see further innovations in a range that already boasts market leading protection and an unrivalled temperature tolerance range, while the local community will be boosted by the creation of a world class research and development facility. This will attract further investment and talent to this vibrant area, strengthening our own corporate presence here”.
“It also works to expand our geographical spread of specialist facilities, allowing for even greater collaboration and technology sharing throughout the company. This really is an exciting development for all of our stakeholders, both here in the UK and worldwide.”
The facility officially opened on Thursday March 30. A special event marked the occasion, with Jotun customers, press, project leaders, management and staff gathering to celebrate this new R&D milestone.