Buzançais – The company specialising in insulating firebricks and awarded the Living Heritage Company label wants to capitalise on its century-old know-how and the 100% made in France card to conquer new markets, while becoming a major player in the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050. “Due to European deindustrialisation, IFB is one of the last four or five European producers of insulating firebricks in the face of essentially Chinese or Turkish competition. Today, the climate challenges and the health crisis have made aware many countries and industrialists, willing to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, that a return to European supplies of insulation products is necessary. We therefore have a very good card to play in very buoyant markets (Western Europe, the Balkans, North Africa), especially as France has clay soils that allows this very special production“, explains Jean-Luc Lesage, an engineer who became head of IFB Refractories on 31 August last year after having spent his entire career within the Saint-Gobain Group.
The products in the range of firebricks (notably those made of sawdust from hardwoods from sawmills around Buzançais, mixed with clay) or other insulating pieces are just as attractive from a technical point of view for large industrialists (Rockwool, Rio Tinto, Corning, etc.) as they are from an environmental point of view for the very top-of-the-range companies (Cristallerie Daum…).
IFB Refractories’ ambitious objective is fully in line with the desire of the highest authorities to relaunch industrial production in France. Discussions have therefore been initiated with the Centre-Val de Loire Region to acquire new machines as part of the Relaunch Plan, in order to support the developments hoped for within the next 3 to 5 years.Article published in “Commerce et Industrie de L’Indre” in which our president Jean-Luc Lesage (on the right) talks about environmental issues for European industry. (January 2021)