Corobrik, South Africa’s brick maker, is making steady progress in the construction of its ZAR801-million new Driefontein factory.
Speaking at an event held at the new factory building at Driefontein today, 30 April 2019 and attended by South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies.
“Corobrik would commission Africa’s largest and most environmentally friendly brick factory by September 2020,” says Dirk Meyer, Corobrik CEO.
“We are committed to South Africa and believe that it is just a matter of time before the construction sector improves. The construction industry and the associated brick industry has traditionally been and still is, cyclical. Corobrik has always invested strategically at the bottom of the cycle in order to be better prepared to reap the rewards of an upturn,” says Meyer.
Meyer says that the driving force behind investment in this exciting facility was to increase production whilst reducing costs. The implementation of the best technology available worldwide would ensure that Corobrik remained a world-class superior quality producer.
The new Driefontein facility, which is expected to produce 100 million bricks per year, will meet larger volume orders for major construction and infrastructure projects while the company’s existing 13 clay brick factories and 14 kilns which produce a mix of plaster and face bricks for the residential and commercial markets, will meet smaller orders, he added.
Corobrik currently sells about four million bricks per working day. Construction of the new facility began in July 2018. The building is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.
“Approximately 200 employees are on site each day during construction with a total of 323 000-man-hours recorded so far,” he notes.
Davies says Corobrik is well positioned to take full advantage of increased demand for building materials as the many new manufacturing facilities that had been announced by investors in response to government’s drive to attract both local and foreign investment began to take shape.
“When recruiting staff for the new factory, preference will be given to existing employees who will be trained on the new equipment as they have the advantage that they understand the brick making process,” he says.
Meyer says the new Driefontein factory would use considerably less energy than the adjacent older facility. It will fire bricks at an average natural gas consumption at less than 40% of the current facility consumption.