R220m upgrade allows Sonae Arauco to introduce Innovus range

3 December 2019
Wood-based panel manufacturer Sonae Arauco has invested R220 million in upgrading its White River, Mpumalanga facility to include an integrated press system from a leading German supplier. This state-of-the-art technology means that Sonae Arauco now boasts the most advanced facility on the continent.
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application/msword iconR220m upgrade allows Sonae Arauco to introduce Innovus range41.5 KBDownload
PreviewSonae Arauco has invested R220 million in upgrading its White River, Mpumalanga facility.1.67 MBDownload
PreviewThe upgraded facility will also give Sonae Arauco the flexibility to be able to press niche products on demand.1.11 MBDownload
PreviewThe White River plant processes raw product into particle board and medium-density fibre board.1.61 MBDownload
PreviewSonae Arauco CEO Rui Correia398.68 KBDownload

The significant investment is testament to Sonae Arauco’s commitment to South Africa, where the company has had a local presence since 2000. The upgrade will allow the company to introduce exclusive and innovative new materials to the local market from its latest Innovus collection.

The upgraded facility will also give Sonae Arauco the flexibility to be able to press niche products on demand, in accordance with specific customer requirements. This will reduce stockholding, which poses the potential of product being damaged or ageing if stored too long.

Pressing on demand translates into reduced lead times for customers. Sonae Arauco Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Robin Kuriakose comments that local customers will now have access to additional decorative melamine-faced finishes only available in the European market to date.

“We want to introduce more of these finishes locally, and hence the major investment in the White River facility, which can now be benchmarked against the best on the continent, as well as globally,” Kuriakose highlights.

The White River plant processes raw product into particle board and medium-density fibre board (MDFB) that is then covered to produce what is known as melamine-faced board. “The new line increases our capacity significantly to convert raw board into high-quality, value-added product,” Sonae Arauco Chief Industrial and Technology Officer Dionne Harber stresses.

Key customers and select media were hosted at an official function at the White River plant on Friday 29 November, which included a walk-through of the upgraded line, and an introduction of the Innovus range.

Notable guests at the event included Mpumalanga MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Pat Ngomane, and representative members of Sonae Arauco’s Executive Committee. These were CEO Rui Correia, Chief Industrial and Technology Officer Jan Bergmann, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer João Berger, Trade Councillor at the Portuguese Embassy Sergio Espadas and Ambassador of Portugal in Pretoria Manuel Carvalho.

The upgraded facility will ensure a seamless experience for Sonae Arauco’s customers in terms of branding, independently of the region in which they are located. The latest decorative finishes to be introduced locally are Chobe, a classic chocolate brown woodgrain; Foundry, a moody, steel-inspired fantasy décor; Grigio, an undeniably sophisticated marbled fantasy décor; Pacific, an ocean-inspired woodgrain; and Shadow Blue, a new unicolour decor.

Sonae Arauco’s main target markets are the KBB (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom) segment for homeowners and construction, shopfitters and outfitters, and furniture manufacturers. While the downturn in the construction industry continues to add pressure to an already difficult business environment, the decorative wood panel segment remains buoyant, with a lot of potential.

“It is the ideal time for us to have invested significantly in our White River plant, which now boasts some of the best technology available in this industry globally. We now have the technological flexibility and an innovative portfolio that will allow us to grow sustainably in this market, while diversifying our customer’s base even further,” Kuriakose concludes.


Notes to the editor

To download hi-res images for this release, please visit http://media.ngage.co.za and click on the Sonae Arauco link to view the company’s press office.

About Sonae Arauco

Sonae Arauco is a significant player in the global wood-based panel industry and a major player locally, with a fully-automated and highly-engineered manufacturing plant in South Africa. Our vision is to create wood-based solutions for a better life and planet. We believe in the value of wood in people’s lives. Our vision is to provide sustainable wood-based solutions that improve modern quality of life. Our aim is to be the wood brand choice of clients, employees, suppliers, and communities. Sonae Arauco stands for its purpose of creating wood-based solutions for a better life, a better future and a better planet.

Sonae Arauco Contact

Paul Lerios

Product & Communication Manager

Phone: (011) 236 1431

Email: Paul [dot] Lerios [at] sonaearauco [dot] com  

Web: www.sonaearauco.co.za

Media Contact
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NGAGE Public Relations
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Fax: 086 512 3352
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Email: nomvelo [at] ngage [dot] co [dot] za
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