Hanson opens new factory
Published: 20 April, 2009
LONDON: Hanson is to open a £50m brick factory in Measham in Leicestershire this summer. The company is part of the Heidelberg Cement Group, which employs 65 000 people across five continents. Its soft mud plant, which will have the capacity to produce 100 million bricks a year, has already begun commissioning trials and will be fully operational by the end of the summer.
David Szymanski, managing director of Hanson UK’s building products division, said: “Despite the economic downturn and the subsequent fall in demand for bricks, there remains a pent-up demand for housing. This significant investment in what we believe is the most modern brick plant in Europe, emphasises our commitment to the future of the industry and will ensure we stay ahead of the field when the recovery kicks in.
"The new plant, which was commissioned before the Merckle family tragedy,has sustainability and quality at its core, said Mr Szymanski. It stands on brownfield land, previously a landfill site for factory waste, and features a low energy, low waste production process, which is fully mechanised. It will initially operate on a double shift basis with the potential to step up to round-the-clock working as demand picks up.
“The bricks produced at Measham will be the most sustainable of their kind, and will offer specifiers, stockists and builders guaranteed colour consistency, dimension tolerance and quality,” said Mr Szymanski.
Over the last 18 months Hanson has closed some of its older, less efficient production plants, opening the way for this latest investment in an automated plant, which employs 28 people.“The long-term clay reserves at Measham, coupled with a highly efficient, low-cost production process puts us in a very strong position both now and into the future,” said Mr Szymanski.
The Measham factory has been built alongside Hanson’s traditional terracotta business, Red Bank, which produces specialist clay products, including chimney and roofing components and hand-made bricks.
The new factory has been independently assessed for site management, employee health and welfare, energy use, transport, water, ecology and pollution. It features a kiln heat recycling system to maximise heat recovery and reduce gas consumption and uses natural light and ventilation to provide a high quality work environment.