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Wolseley helps Antarctic research team stay out of the cold

12 October, 2007

Encon, a leading distributor of insulation and one of Wolseley UK's specialist businesses, has secured a £35,000 contract to provide thermal products for a new scientific research station in Antarctica.

Insulation products supplied from Encon will be used to build a new laboratory run by the British Antarctic Survey. The Halley VI Research Station will be located on the Brunt Ice Shelf and incorporate a range of thermal products, drywall and partitioning to ensure an internal temperature of around 20 degrees centigrade is maintained, despite external temperatures being as low as minus 56 Celsius.

Antarctica is the coldest and driest continent, and with 90 per cent of the Earth's ice, is also one of the most inaccessible. The insulation materials supplied by Encon underwent independent testing to ensure that the centre is built to its exacting requirements in this harsh building environment.

British Antarctic Survey has set a two-year target to complete the new research station because of the short Antarctica summer and need to minimise damage to the Brunt Ice Shelf. The new laboratory is expected to have a life span of at least 25 years. It will be one of five research stations operated by British Antarctic Survey and will be a centre for research into global issues such as climate change, ozone depletion and atmospheric pollution.

Wolseley plc is the world's largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors and a leading supplier of building materials in North America, the UK and Continental Europe. Group revenue for the year ended 31 July 2006 was approximately £14.2 billion and operating profit, before amortisation of acquired intangibles, was £882 million. Wolseley has around 79,000 employees operating in 28 countries namely: UK, USA, France, Canada, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Slovak Republic, Poland, Romania, Croatia, San Marino, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Barbados and Greenland. Wolseley is listed on the London and New York Stock Exchanges (LSE: WOS, NYSE: WOS) and is in the FTSE 100 index of listed companies.