PG Bison has successfully commissioned its latest expansion project with the installation of higher capacity dryer and fibre preparation facilities at its at eMkhondo (Piet Retief) manufacturing facility in Mpumalanga.

The commissioning marks a major milestone for PG Bison and for the wider decorative panel industry in southern Africa, as it provides additional capacity to a market that has been exposed to increased demand in recent years. The eMkhondo plant has increased its particleboard output capacity by 37% to 1 000 m³ per day, bringing its capacity in line with PG Bison’s Ugie board plant.

With a cost of R560 million, the project consisted of a complete replacement of the entire fibre preparation line with new technology and higher capacity. This included installing a state-of-the-art Büttner energy plant and driers, screening equipment, a new flaker, and new conveyor systems.

PG Bison has consistently invested in local manufacturing, having committed R2.5 billion to capital investment projects in the past two years.

The most recent investment will be the construction of a new medium-density fibreboard line, scheduled for commissioning in mid-2024, also at the eMkhondo site. “These expansion projects, employing the latest global technology, will improve our global competitiveness and position the company for growth, both in the local and export markets” says PG Bison CEO, Gerhard Victor.

“We are committed to local manufacturing and to meeting the increased demand for our products. Our investment supports the Furniture Industry Master Plan, a government and private collaboration aimed at rebuilding the furniture industry in South Africa”.

“We are really proud of what our inhouse project team has been able to achieve with this project. Despite several project challenges created by Covid-19, the plant was commissioned within budget and a week ahead of the targeted start-up date”, he says.