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First Board Produced at PG Bison's New Mkhondo MDF Line

PG Bison achieved a significant milestone today with the production of the first board from our newly commissioned medium-density fibreboard (MDF) line at our Mkhondo manufacturing facility, almost a month ahead of schedule. Full commercial operation is set for 1 July 2024. This new line triples PG Bison’s MDF capacity and enables us to meet the growing demand for MDF in Africa and select markets. 

The R1.875 billion, 274 000 m³ MDF line has been a major project for our business and has taken three years to complete. It boasts the latest technology, a German ContiRoll® press, which offers the flexibility to produce not only MDF, but also low- and high-density fibreboard. The location of the line at our Mkhondo manufacturing facility, which also houses a particleboard line, resin plant, paper treaters and upgrading presses, both enhances the global cost-competitiveness of the facility and positions it as a state-of-the-art hub for wood-based panel manufacturing in Africa. 

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“We are delighted to announce the successful completion of the project, within budget, and ahead of schedule,” says Gerhard Victor, CEO of PG Bison, expressing his pride in the achievement. “We look forward to soon providing our existing and prospective customers with a seamless, consistent supply of premium MDF. Our added capacity and capability to also produce a low and high-density fibreboard underscores our dedication to offer our customers unparalleled versatility and quality.”  

The successful completion of a project of this scale requires close coordination and collaboration between various stakeholders. Gerhard says, “The commissioning of the line demonstrates the collective efforts of our skilled in-house project team and our trusted suppliers, productive public-private partnerships, particularly with Eskom and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, and the backing of our shareholder, KAP Limited.” 

The new line resulted in the creation of 1 174 contractor jobs during the construction phase, and will create a further 150 permanent jobs in the Gert Sibande District Municipality. It will also promote the beneficiation of forestry-related products and foster downstream value addition throughout the local furniture value chain.

Justin Berry, PG Bison’s Marketing and Strategy Development Executive, explains, “The versatile and premium products produced off this line will play a pivotal role in reducing imports in the wood-based panel and furniture industries by offering our customers the flexibility to tailor solutions to meet their specific design requirements. PG Bison is aligned with the South African government's localisation objectives, as outlined in the Forestry Sector Masterplan and the Masterplan for the South African Furniture Industry. As a proudly South African company, we contribute to local employment opportunities and economic development through our investments and operations.” 

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As PG Bison embarks on this growth phase, we remain steadfast in its purpose to inspire and enable beautiful spaces. Its renowned brands, including BisonBord, SupaWood, MelaWood, SupaGloss, SupaMatt, and Formica LifeSeal Worktops, continue to offer premium quality and versatility for all wood-based decorative panel needs. Whether for local projects or exports, PG Bison is ready to meet the demands of our growing customer base.