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Vaillant Group to expand production facilities in Belper
Having seen record demand for heat pumps as a result of its multi-technology strategy, Vaillant has announced plans to expand its production facilities in Belper, Derbyshire.
From 2022, Vaillant Industrial UK will begin manufacturing heat pumps alongside its UK range of high efficiency boilers. Its Belper operations will increase in size by 24%, which has been achieved by re-purposing an existing building for production.
Vaillant currently manufactures around half a million natural gas and liquified petroleum gas appliances annually in Belper for the UK market. From next year, the capacity will be increased to include the aroTHERM plus air-to-water heat pump.
Launched in 2020 and capable of achieving higher flow temperatures of up to 75 degrees, the company says the aroTHERM plus is one of the only products available in the market to use the natural refrigerant R290 with a global warming potential of just three.
Founded in 1874, Vaillant believes that no one single technology will address the decarbonisation challenge. A combination of hydrogen gas boilers, heat pumps and hybrid systems along with controls and internet-connected solutions will be key to meeting the government’s targets.
Vaillant says that this diversification in the market brings new opportunities as well as challenges for installers and consumers. An urgent increase of support is required for installers in the industry to expand their skills to accommodate heat pumps, if the government’s target of 600,000 heat pumps sold per annum by 2028 is to be met.
Supporting this need for training and upskilling on heat pump technology, Vaillant offers vocational courses to support the transition to new heating technologies. This can be carried out online and in one of their six centres of excellence and other partner training locations across the UK.
Klaus Jesse, managing director for Vaillant Group UK and Ireland, said: “As a leading heating manufacturer, we take our responsibility to support the decarbonisation challenge very seriously. Having been at the forefront of research and development of high efficiency gas appliances as well as heat pumps, Vaillant is also investing heavily in future hydrogen and green gas technology. There will not be one technology which singularly addresses the climate challenge, and it’s important that both the government and the heating industry recognise and educate the market on the benefits of each technology, based on the needs of the customer and the property.”
Joe Dunn, plant director of Vaillant Industrial UK, added: “This is a huge step forward for Vaillant in the UK. We currently manufacture an extensive range of highly efficient boilers at our award-winning factory in Belper, Derbyshire. This is a fantastic opportunity for our existing team to develop our skill sets ready for our product diversification and create new roles for the local area. As the demand for renewable heating technologies grows at an unprecedented rate in the UK, the Vaillant manufacturing facility will be well placed to meet the demands of the market, contributing to government targets for the decarbonisation of heat.”
Business and energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “With home heating contributing around a third of all UK emissions, we need to support people to replace their appliances with lower carbon, more efficient technologies, such as heat pumps. Doing so will not only help the UK eliminate its contribution to climate change, but ensure our homes are warmer, more energy efficient and cheaper to run. Today’s announcement from Vaillant is a significant boost to our plans to kick-start a heat pump manufacturing base in the UK so we can develop a range of new low-carbon technologies, create jobs and meet our all-important target of installing 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028.”