Gypsum industry news
Australia: Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt toured the construction site of Knauf Australia's US$53m wallboard manufacturing facility near Bundaberg on Wednesday 15 March 2017. Construction of the plant began in early 2016.
"Knauf Australia is well on the way to completing its plasterboard manufacturing factory at the Port of Bundaberg and is expected to commission the plant by mid-July and begin production in August," said Pitt. "Knauf considered a number of locations for its new plant to service the northern Australian markets, including some offshore options. Attracting a global operation like Knauf to Bundaberg offers many benefits for the local community, including the creation of 60 jobs in the region, and around 70 when full production is reached in two years."
Ukraine: Saint-Gobain plans to build a gypsum wallboard plant in the Tlumach district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. The Euro65m project includes the construction of two building materials units in the area, according to Interfax. A construction materials plant is scheduled for completion at the end of 2017 followed by a wallboard plant by early 2018. Both plants will be located near to the Khotymyr gypsum deposit. The new units are expected to create around 300 jobs.
Argentina: Canada's Centurion Minerals has achieved its design capacity level of 2000t/day in January 2017 at the Ana Sofia Property agricultural gypsum fertiliser pilot plant located in Santiago Del Estero. The plant and operating team have been able to extract, crush and bag approximately 1000t of material since the unti started operation. Some of this material has been sold and delivered to Argentine fertiliser distributors. Centurion's local joint venture partner is currently negotiating supply contracts with distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Gypsum is quarried at the site from near-surface, flat-lying beds within a sedimentary formation. The gypsum rock is fed into a hopper leading to primary and secondary crushers, then screened and sorted into two agricultural gypsum fertiliser products. The plant produces both a pellet-sized granular product and a powdered product, each comprised of a minimum 85% gypsum content, that are packaged into 1t big bags.
Kazakhstan: JSC ZhambylGypsum has started operation of a gypsum unit and a calcium carbonate unit at a production site in the Zhambyl region. The project cost around US$78m and each unit has a production capacity of 0.27Mt/yr, according to InterFax. The production units are intended to become part of a larger gypsum plant that will be built at a later date.
Germany: Hamburger Containerboard has restarted production at its Gelsenkirchen plasterboard plant following a Euro20m upgrade project. The plant can now produce 0.25Mt/yr of uncoated containerboard, an increase of 20% from previously. During a three week shutdown the production width was widened to 5m and the film press and drying section were updated. In addition, a new pope reeler for wider tambour diameters and an upgraded soft-nip-calander were installed.
"With the restart at the start of the year we are happy to be online with probably one of the most efficient machines in the market again," said Andreas Noss, general manager of Hamburger Rieger.
Hamburger Rieger, with its three German paper mills in Spremberg, Gelsenkirchen and Trostberg is part of the Hamburger Containerboard Division with a total of seven paper mills and 2Mt/yr of produced container board. The Gelsenkirchen plant produces white testliner and grey plasterboard liner.
Kazakhstan: Kazupak Trade has released information about the construction of its 500t/day gypsum plant in Taraz. Construction work at the site started in 2015 and it was commissioned in October 2016. Equipment for the plant was bought from Turkey's Erişim Makina. The plant started full operation in November 2016. The gypsum producer intends to build a second production line within the next 10 years. It sells gypsum under the brand 'Kazgyps.'
Cuba: Rose Gypsum has thanked Grenzebach and GPM Engineering for the company's help in negotiations with Empressa Materiales de Construccion. The companies have been in talks with the state-owned company to build a gypsum wallboard plant for Cuban and the Caribbean market. The plans also include production facilities for ceiling panels. Rose Gypsum described the tendering process as 'extremely challenging.' It is currently waiting for a response to its latest proposal.
Oman: The Gulf Mining Group is considering building a gypsum wallboard plant in Salalah. The project is part of a portfolio of planned investments scheduled for 2017 and 2018 announced by the company, according to Al-Bawaba News. Other schemes include a potash mine, a calcium carbonate project, a ferro-manganese smelter and a manganese beneficiation facility.
Australia: The framework is in place for a new wallboard plant that Knauf Plasterboard is building at the Port of Bundaberg in Queensland. A 27.8km gas pipeline that will support the project has also been laid, according to the Bundaberg Newspaper. The next step will be to commission the pipeline and commission off-takes. First gas flows are scheduled for mid-February 2017 whereupon it will supply the new Knauf plant that is expected to start production in June 2017.
US: Gypsoil is stopping production at its pelletised gypsum fertiliser plant in Winona, Minnesota. The plant has been shut down due to poor market demand, according to the Winona Daily News. The US$5m plant opened in early 2016. It used synthetic gypsum from coal smoke stack scrubbers in Ohio.