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Brickworks hit by Covid-lockdowns, curtails production

Manufacturing News

Brick sales in the eastern states have slumped following Covid-lockdowns of construction, forcing Brickworks to curtail production at kilns in New South Wales and a plant in Brisbane.

The building products group said restrictions were having a significant impact on operations with brick despatches slumping 80 per cent during a NSW government pause in the building and construction sector in late July.

Managing director Lindsay Partridge said: “These were the most severe restrictions that our business has faced since the onset of the pandemic, with sales limited to the ACT and regional areas only.

“The partial re-commencement of construction in August has resulted in some improvement, however brick sales remain at only 50 per cent of pre-lockdown levels, resulting in a number of our storage yards reaching full capacity.”

Partridge said the company had curtailed production at two of its five NSW kilns – Punchbowl and Horsley Park plant 3 – representing 30 per cent of production capacity.

Some production has been diverted to Victoria where demand continues to be strong.

“The impact is similar across our other building products businesses.

“Operations at our precast facility in Wetherill Park have been significantly reduced, and we have removed one production shift at our roof tile plant in Brisbane that supplies the Sydney market.”

Brickworks new masonry plant at Oakdale East has been completed, however commissioning is being ‘severely disrupted’ with technicians stranded overseas.

Despite reducing staffing levels, Brickworks has not laid off staff.

Picture: Brickworks Punchbowl

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