Ash Resources, SA’s largest supplier of fly ash, which is added to concrete building products, will spend R15m to expand production capacity on the back of the growing construction market. The strong growth is expected to continue, sustained in particular by the residential construction sector and increased infrastructural spend, Ash Resources MD Graeme Smith said on Friday. The company is owned by one of SA’s largest cement makers, Lafarge SA, and Eskom Enterprises, Roshcon and Ash Black Economic Empowerment. Lafarge and other building-products makers in SA are also expanding. It said in September that it would add about 1Mt of annual capacity to its Lichtenburg works at a cost estimated at more than R1bn. PPC Cement said in September that it would build a new kiln to expand capacity by about 1Mt at a cost of R1.36bn.
Natal Portland Cement had started a project to add 600,000t of product a year at a cost of about R700m. SA’s largest brick maker, Corobrik, has recommissioned mothballed capacity of 300 million bricks a year in response to growing demand. Ash Resources said it would increase production of its highest quality fly ash production capacity by 30 per cent before the end of next year. The product accounts for more than half of Ash Resources’ total fly ash volume of more than 1.7Mta from three plants. The R15m project would add about 300,000 tons a year.