FUCHS Lubricants South Africa to boost local production capacity
Photo courtesy of FUCHS Lubricants

FUCHS Lubricants South Africa to boost local production capacity

FUCHS Lubricants South Africa is set to significantly enhance its local production capacity with a ZAR218 million (USD11.5 million) investment. This move aligns with the company’s strategic growth plan initiated five years ago.

The first phase of the expansion included acquiring additional land at the Isando facility and constructing a new, state-of-the-art warehouse and head office complex. Completed in mid-2022 by DRA Global, this phase laid the groundwork for further expansion.

โ€œThe next part of our expansion is to increase our production capacity,โ€ said Paul Deppe, managing director at FUCHS Lubricants South Africa. This was necessary as the current plant is running at capacity 24 hours per day, seven days a week, he said.

โ€œTo meet growing market demand, we needed to enhance our production capabilities, incorporating the latest in blending and filling technologies,” said Deppe.

The new plant, an extension of the existing facility, will significantly boost production capacity. FUCHS began its automation journey with the construction of its second lubricating grease plant in 2018, and the same approach will be applied to the new plant’s automation, using technology from a renowned German company.

He said that 80% of the project spend will be local and the balance imported, mainly on automation.

Sustainability focus

Esther Seabi, sustainability director at FUCHS, emphasised the project’s alignment with FUCHS’ Net Zero goals. The focus will be on energy efficiency and renewable energy, incorporating features like insulation, variable speed drives (VSDs), heat recovery, and a solar PV system. FUCHS’ commitment to sustainability was recognised with an accolade from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) Leadership Awards for 2021-2022. Additionally, the new FUCHS head office has been certified as net zero carbon.

Advanced warehouse technology

The new warehouse in Isando features some of the latest management technologies, including scanning and system-driven batch control. The materials-handling equipment includes narrow-aisle turret trucks stacking up to 17 meters high, and the warehouse is equipped with comprehensive environmental, safety, and fire systems.

Deppe remains optimistic about growth prospects in both the local and African markets. โ€œWe are steadily increasing our market share and expanding throughout Sub-Saharan Africa from our regional hub in Isando,โ€ he said..