Fuchs Expands in South Africa


Fuchs Expands in South Africa
Rush hour traffic on a highway in Johannesburg, South Africa. © Roxane 134

Fuchs Lubricants announced it is investing 218 million rand (U.S. $11.4 million) in the second phase of an expansion that will increase production capacity at its Isando, South Africa, factory by 40%.

Started earlier this year, the phase two expansion is expected to be completed in 2024.

Fuchs, which is headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, declined to disclose the capacity.

“As part of our growth strategy, we started planning our capacity expansion some five years ago,” Managing Director Paul Deppe said in a news release. The first phase of the project involved acquiring additional land at the Isando facility and constructing a combination warehouse and office complex, which was completed in mid-2022.

“The next part of our expansion is to increase our production capacity,” Depp said, noting the current plant is operated around the clock seven days a week. “To meet market demand, we had to look at expanding our production capability,” he said. “It also afforded us the opportunity to introduce the latest technology in blending and filling processes.”

The new warehouse in Isando incorporates technology such as scanning and system driven batch control. The new materials-handling equipment includes narrow-aisle turret trucks stacking up to 17 meters high. The warehouse includes a comprehensive environmental, safety and fire system, including in-rack sprinklers and automated spill barriers.

Deppe said Fuchs is bullish about growth in both the South African and African markets. “We are steadily increasing our market share and expanding throughout Sub-Saharan Africa from our regional hub in Isando,” he said.

In September 2020, Fuchs Lubricants South Africa announced it was investing R250 million as part of a project to build a warehouse, offices and a blending plant in the Johannesburg area. At the time, Deppe said key market sectors driving lubricant demand in Africa included the automotive market – especially in factory fill – automotive aftermarket, mining sector and power generation.