Rockwool Plant

American Rockwool is photographed here in Nov. 2019. 

An insulation manufacturer whose plant is in Nolanville laid off 13 employees this week, according to Gloria Blauvelt, with the Nolanville Economic Development Corporation.

American Rockwool suffered damage to a smokestack at the company in June 2019 and the layoff stems from a lawsuit between the company and its insurance partner, Markel Insurance from that incident in June. The company currently has 19 total employees. Rockwool lost 68.4% of its workforce, according to Blauvelt.

The company continued operations to pay the staff but it was not producing, according to Blauvelt. The employees continued to work on other projects but were not producing insulation.

The monthly operations of the company total around $100,000 and the cost to replace the smokestack is around $2.2 million, according to Blauvelt. The owner of Rockwool, Jim Diebel, was not taking a salary to continue operations.

The company has found a fabricator for the smoke stack, JT Thorpe, but it requires 30% of the cost or $750,000 to begin production, according to Blauvelt.

The company filed its lawsuit on Nov. 4 and in its petition American Rockwool says that on June 9, “a severe thunderstorm and high winds damaged the 200-foot tall plant stack at the property ... The following day, the claim was reported ,,, that the top 100 feet of the stack was leaning in a perilous position as a result of the storm.”

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