By NZHJ February 08, 2018 Building Materials

Firth Concrete has opened the country’s most technologically-advanced masonry block plant at Hunua in South Auckland.

The new Firth plant will bring 24 new jobs to the Papakura and Franklin regions, some staff having transferred from the East Tamaki plant with a number of new staff being employed from among those involved in its construction.

Fletcher Building’s Building Products Chief Executive, Matt Crockett, says the $30 million 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 Winstone quarry with cement from our Golden Bay Cement plant, producing a range of high quality blocks, bricks, pavers and retaining wall products.”

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.

Part of this productivity gain is from faster turnaround on changing moulds and products – what once took 4½ hours to change, now takes less than 30 minutes.

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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