Lubricants manufacturer and distributor FUCHS Lubricants South Africa has invested more than R250-million in South Africa for the completion of the construction of a warehouse and office complex, which will be completed by February 2022.
Land that is adjacent to its current location in Isando, of 3.2 ha, has been purchased and is the location for the new development. There is enough space on the land for further expansion and upgrades to its manufacturing facilities.
“Construction has begun and will be completed by February 2022. The project started in lockdown and has not been impacted by the pandemic,” says FUCHS Lubricants South Africa MD Paul Deppe.
He adds that the investment comprises two phases. Phase 1 entails the purchase of land, site development and construction of a new and much larger warehouse and office complex. Phase 2 will be a new lubricants plant.
The development of the lubricants plant is still in the concept phase and will depend on the design feasibility report.
The warehouse system will be a fully integrated barcoding system using SAP. The latest materials handling equipment will be in use – for example, narrow isle lift trucks stacking to 17 m high. The fire protection system is being designed to the latest international best practices.
“The new project follows FUCHS Lubricants South Africa’s investment of R125-million in a grease plant expansion in Isando in May 2018. The investment has since made a significant contribution to our business,” says Deppe.
Global engineering group DRA Global was selected by FUCHS Lubricants South Africa to provide the engineering, procurement and construction management services for the project that is currently underway. Supply chain and logistics consulting firm Industrial Logistic Systems is the warehouse consultant, while architecture firm GPD Studio has been appointed as architect for the project.
Although the company is concerned about Covid-19 and the impact thereof on the company’s customers, capital investment decisions are not based on current situations, but rather on long-term strategies.
“We are confident of the future strength of our business in Africa,” he says.
As the company’s growth continues, it will consider further expansion to continually improve quality, efficiency and plant capacity, Deppe concludes.