To ensure PG Bison maintains its international standards of quality and grows its production capacity, it will invest around R600 million in further infrastructure developments. This will see the Piet Retief particleboard plant leapfrog up the technology ladder.

The investment in a new state-of-the-art continuous press will enable PG Bison to produce 1000m³ of BisonBord particleboard per day at Piet Retief. CEO, Gerhard Victor says, “Our current daylight press at Piet Retief is 31 years old, while international standards have shifted. With our new press, we will be able to produce chipboard comparable to the best in the world, just as in our Ugie particleboard plant in the Eastern Cape. This means our customers will again reap the benefit of quality materials being manufactured locally. We want to be ready and able to deal with South Africa’s future demand for chipboard.”

A phased investment

The new line will be completed in two phases, the first of which is the installation of the Continuous Press and Forming Line at a cost of R559 million. This will expand the existing plant’s capacity by 80 m³, to 680 m³ per day. The company expects this to be completed within the next two years.

The second phase entails an upgrade to the Raw Material Preparation and Drying Area. This will bring the plant up to a 1 000 m³ capacity within another two to three years.

Once the plant is completed, PG Bison’s total chipboard capacity will be 2 000 m³, as its facility in Ugie also produces 1 000 m³ per day.

The new line will significantly improve the quality of the Piet Retief BisonBord and will ensure PG Bison has the best quality product in the market, manufactured on equipment of international standard.

Other recent PG Bison investments include the installation of a new Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) press in Boksburg, while a Gloss Board Line is planned for 2016. Their R1.3 billion board plant in Ugie in the Eastern Cape was opened in 2008, while the new SupaWood (MDF) line in Boksburg came on line in 2012.

On completion of the new Piet Retief line, PG Bison will then be producing its products on 3 new generation Siemplekamp presses. “We selected Siemplekamp as they are one of the leading press manufacturers in the world. By using them on all 3 sites we are able to transfer skills and utilise certain common spare parts across our operations” says Victor.