INTEGRATED
TIMBER

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PG Bison is the leading wood-based panel supplier in Africa servicing the retail, construction, furniture manufacturing and residential development market in southern and East Africa and Australia. PG Bison is a product and market-focused organisation, concentrating on a number of areas to inspire growth in the application of our products.

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INTEGRATED
TIMBER

integrated-timber-icons-white-01

PG Bison is the leading wood-based panel supplier in Africa servicing the retail, construction, furniture manufacturing and residential development market in southern and East Africa and Australia. PG Bison is a product and market-focused organisation, concentrating on a number of areas to inspire growth in the application of our products.

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2020 HIGHLIGHTS

PG Bison received the Supplier of the Year award from a major customer in the following categories: Wholesale – Brands 4 Africa (winner of Export division); Wholesale – Boards (winner of Wholesale division); and Supplier Best Growth award

New range of products launched on a digital platform to over 2 000 local and international customers and converters during Covid-19 Lockdown Watch

PG Bison is the only Africa-based manufacturer of matt-finish MFB

Antibacterial MFB launched

Sixth MFB line installed in eMkhondo
(formerly Piet Retief)

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more than
4.7 million
trees planted in FY20
The on time in full (‘OTIF’)
service level of PG Bison’s
panel products is
93.2%

LOOKING AHEAD

8% additional capacity and reduced raw material consumption expected from Ugie and eMkhondo (formerly Piet Retief) upgrades

Particleboard production to be increased to 1 000 m3 per day at eMkhondo on completion of upgrade in January 2022, adding 14% additional capacity

All PG Bison panel manufacturing sites to be efficient state-of-the-art facilities by January 2022

PRODUCTS

Forestry
Sawlogs, poles, pulpwood

Primary processing – Timber
Structural timber (Thesen), poles (Woodline)

Primary processing – Board
Particleboard (BisonBord), medium-density fibreboard (MDF) (SupaWood), matt-finish board (SupaMatt)

Upgrading
Foil (DecoBord), Formica Lifeseal worktops, melamine-faced board (MFB) (MelaWood), gloss board (MelaWood Supagloss)

Formaldehyde and UF resin
Primarily used in the timber panel industry

Impregnated paper
Primarily used in the timber panel industry to manufacture MFB

PG Bison exports
11%
of its volume
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PG Bison is a member of the
Proudly South
African initiative

PRODUCTS

Forestry
Sawlogs, poles, pulpwood

Primary processing – Timber
Structural timber (Thesen), poles (Woodline)

Primary processing – Board
Particleboard (BisonBord), medium-density fibreboard (MDF) (SupaWood), matt-finish board (SupaMatt)

Upgrading
Foil (DecoBord), Formica Lifeseal worktops, melamine-faced board (MFB) (MelaWood), gloss board (MelaWood Supagloss)

Formaldehyde and UF resin
Primarily used in the timber panel industry

Impregnated paper
Primarily used in the timber panel industry to manufacture MFB

R5.2 million
spent on research
and development
37.6 million
automotive components
produced
130 000
aftermarket
accessories sold
30
new ranges of aftermarket
products launched

LOOKING AHEAD

8% additional capacity and reduced raw material consumption expected from Ugie and eMkhondo (formerly Piet Retief) upgrades

Particleboard production to be increased to 1 000 m3 per day at eMkhondo on completion of upgrade in January 2022, adding 14% additional capacity

All PG Bison panel manufacturing sites to be efficient state-of-the-art facilities by January 2022

‘Our purpose is to inspire and facilitate the creation of beautiful spaces.’

– Gerhard Victor

‘Our purpose is to inspire and facilitate the creation of beautiful spaces.’

– Gerhard Victor

Gerhard Victor, CEO | Integrated Timber

Gerhard joined PG Bison in 1997 with seven years of previous wood-based panel manufacturing experience, specialising in engineering and mechanisation of manufacturing plants. Gerhard has been instrumental in overseeing several major expansion projects in the PG Bison group including major greenfield developments and brownfield expansions. Gerhard was appointed as the PG Bison group manufacturing executive in January 2009 and as the CEO of PG Bison in December 2014.

Product innovation drives demand

We regularly evaluate our product range according to market and consumer trends as part of growing our value-added product mix, in support of our strategy. Exclusive melamine-faced board (‘MFB’) colours and finishes are developed with the input of international and local designers for our specific markets. The success of this strategy is measured by the increase of the value-added product mix ratio to 61% (FY19: 58%) and the displacement of products that were previously imported from Europe and Asia.

In 4Q20, PG Bison successfully launched our new range of products on a digital platform to over 2 000 local and international customers and converters. The range includes a new matt-finish MFB, which was launched under the SupaMatt brand. PG Bison is the only Africa-based manufacturer that has the capability to produce this product. In addition, an antibacterial MFB was launched. PG Bison’s resin operation blends an antibacterial additive during the resin process in order to inhibit and destroy any bacteria that come into contact with the surface.

PG Bison is the leading manufacturer of high-gloss MFB boards under the SupaGloss brand. We also offer a wide range of laminate worktops under the Formica Lifeseal brand.

Customer engagement

PG Bison acknowledges that our success is dependent on the growth and success of our customers. We continuously strive to create innovative solutions in collaboration with our customers in order to stimulate demand in the market.

The introduction of new products is supported by a structured marketing, sales and supply chain strategy. Demand is created by obtaining specifications from designers and developers, while providing customers with the relevant marketing information, samples and technical support. Tools, such as our kitchen design tool, enhance customers’ experience of our products and processes. Watch

Demand-creation activities are extended to support small to medium enterprises (‘SMEs’) and historically disadvantaged persons (‘HDPs’).

Investing in technology supports the value-added product strategy

PG Bison continuously invests in new technology to introduce new products into the market, increase capacity, reduce our manufacturing cost and optimise raw material input.

In support of the value-added product strategy, we successfully installed a sixth MFB line in eMkhondo (formerly Piet Retief) during the year. This is the first robotic-fed MFB line installed in South Africa, which has increased the nameplate capacity of the line by 25%.

In February 2020, a state-of-the-art matt-finish line was commissioned onto the current hot coating line, which previously only produced high-gloss finishes.

The Ugie and eMkhondo particleboard plants were upgraded in February 2020 and March 2020 respectively, during the annual maintenance shutdowns. These upgrades will deliver an additional 8% capacity with reduced raw material consumption.

The final phase of the replacement and upgrading of the eMkhondo plant is in process. A new dryer will be installed to replace inefficient dryers, which will reduce emissions by an estimated 20% during the drying of wood fibre. The installation of a single-source energy plant will allow the drying process to run exclusively on biomass fuel. Once completed in January 2022, this new dryer will increase the particleboard production in eMkhondo to 1 000 m3 per day. All our PG Bison panel manufacturing sites will then be efficient, state-of-the-art facilities.

Following the extensive forest fires in the southern Cape in 2017 and 2018, the Thesen sawmill has been reconfigured to optimise the available timber, and to facilitate better yields and efficiencies from a more variable raw material mix. Two new optimising saw lines and a new band saw were installed. The Thesen sawmill will instal and commission a high-speed finger-jointing line to provide our customers with a wider choice of products.

Vertical integration creates a competitive advantage

The division harnesses the benefits of an integrated model by owning and managing its own resin, forestry and timber operations with primary manufacturing and value-adding facilities.

PG Bison’s access to key raw materials, in the form of timber from our own plantations and our own manufactured and upgraded paper and resin, remains a long-term strategic imperative that mitigates against timber supply constraints in South Africa and upward cost pressures.

Sustainable raw materials are key to the long-term success of PG Bison. In the past year, over 4.7 million trees were planted as part of normal operations.

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