November 29, 2017
Firth Concrete, New Zealand’s leading supplier of ready mix concrete and masonry products, has opened the country’s most technologically-advanced masonry block plant at Hunua in South Auckland.
The plant was officially opened today by the Honourable Judith Collins, member for Papakura. It will bring 24 new jobs to the Papakura and Franklin regions, with some employees transferring from the former East Tamaki plant, and a number of new employees involved in the plant’s construction also joining the business.
Building Products Chief Executive Matt Crockett, of parent company Fletcher Building, said the $30m investment was a significant commitment.
“This is the first major investment in masonry manufacturing in New Zealand for many years. We have installed world-class automated systems that mix aggregates from our nearby GBC Winstone quarry with cement from our Golden Bay Cement plant, producing a range of high quality blocks, bricks, pavers and retaining wall products.
“Fletcher Building has invested over $400 million into local manufacturing over the past five years. This investment is critical at a time when there is significant and growing demand for housing and infrastructure in Auckland as well as within the regions. We are proud to continue supporting local industry and local jobs here today.”
The plant will have a fast turnaround on changing moulds and products. What once took 4.5 hours to change, will take less than 30 minutes.
Using high-tech moulding equipment and curing kilns sourced from the United States, UK and Europe, the Hunua Masonry Block plant can produce 50,000 blocks per day – four times the capacity of the previous East Tamaki plant.
Mr Crockett said that increasing production was a key driver of the decision to seek a new site.
“Masonry products have the unique ability to add strength, structure, and design as well as sound-proofing and insulating properties to commercial and residential buildings and associated structures. Masonry has become increasingly popular, and increasing the capacity and flexibility of our product output is an important step in ensuring we are delivering for our customers.”
After a property search, Firth decided to build the new 4,900m2 plant on a former quarry site adjacent to a working quarry, operated by Winstone Aggregates, west of Papakura. Both companies are within the Building Products division of Fletcher Building.
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