Foam Supplies Inc. said it is adding more than 50,000 square feet of ecomate production and warehousing capacity because of increased customer demand for ecomate foam blowing agent and in preparation for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s pending phase-outs of HFC blowing agents.
Foam Supplies, a polyurethane foam systems supplier to marine manufacturers, produces the patented ecomate, which is EPA-approved.
Marine manufacturing demand has risen because of a Significant New Alternative Policy, or SNAP, that the EPA announced last summer, George Snyder, of the public relations firm Direct Impact, the agency that does public outreach for Foam Supplies, tells Trade Only.
The SNAP program is the EPA's method of evaluating and regulating substitutes for the ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out under provisions of the Clean Air Act.
“With the EPA set to announce phase-outs of current HFC blowing agents, manufacturers in a range of industries are taking a proactive approach in replacing HFCs now,” Foam Supplies COO Todd Keske said in a statement. “As the only EPA SNAP-approved non-HFC blowing agent with a proven track record spanning well over 10 years, ecomate is the easy choice for anyone looking for an effective and environmentally friendly replacement.”
The company said the expansion is in response to the already increased demand for ecomate, as well as anticipated future demand from new and existing customers.
HFC-134a is on the EPA’s list to be banned, possibly as early as Jan. 1, 2017, Snyder said.
“Once that happens, there will be very few options for boat manufacturers, and Foam Supplies has a long history supplying boatbuilders, including a 10-plus-year history with ecomate,” Snyder said. “Unfortunately, some in the industry don’t know about ecomate, so they feel they have no options.”
Foam Supplies recently broke ground on a new ecomate production facility adjacent to its current plant at the company’s headquarters in Earth City, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. The new building is expected to be fully operational by August.
Additional warehousing and distribution space has been secured less than a half-mile away. In all, the expansion adds more than 50,000 square feet of capacity to the company’s U.S. operations in Missouri and Texas.