First board produced at PG Bison’s new Mkhondo MDF line

PG Bison has reached a milestone with the production of the first board from its newly commissioned medium-density fibreboard (MDF) line at their Mkhondo manufacturing facility, almost a month ahead of schedule. Full commercial operation is set for 1 Jul 2024. This new line has tripled PG Bison’s MDF capacity and enabled the company to meet the growing demand for MDF in Africa and select markets. 

The R1.875bn, 274 000m³ MDF line has been a major project for the business and has taken three years to complete. It features 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 the Mkhondo manufacturing facility, which also houses a particleboard line, resin plant, paper treaters and upgrading presses, enhances both the global cost-competitiveness of the facility and positions it as a hub for wood-based panel manufacturing in Africa. 

Image: PG Bison

“We are delighted to announce the successful completion of the project, within budget, and ahead of schedule,” said Gerhard Victor, CEO of PG Bison. “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 completion of this project required close coordination and collaboration between various stakeholders. Gerhard said: “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 created 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, explained: “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.”

Image: PG Bison

As PG Bison embarks on this growth phase, it 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 their growing customer base.