Astrapak confirmed on Wednesday (9 January) that its East Rand plastics operation was damaged in a fire on Tuesday afternoon (8 January). It said full investigations were already underway by the company and its advisers.
It said the Brakpan factory‚ which produced plastic film and bags for a variety of products and markets‚ consisted of six separate production units.
"While it is still too early to establish the full extent of the damage‚ it is clear that the re-cycling speciality films and the primary printing unit have been severely affected‚" Astrapak said.
The specialty films unit recycles plastics into garbage and other kinds of bags. But it said its core film extrusion and bag making units‚ as well as the secondary print unit‚ were not affected by the fire and were already back in operation.
"I think that realistically those operations cannot be resurrected quickly - they will be out of action for some time‚" chief executive Robin Moore said.
He said the secondary print unit could only take certain volumes of products and was "not directly interchangeable" with the primary unit. This meant the group was looking to similar facilities it owned in Cape Town and Durban‚ as well as a mothballed operation in Johannesburg‚ to make up any shortfalls.
It was also looking at using printing sub-contractors‚ including competitor companies‚ Moore said. He said the group had not yet discussed an insurance claim.
Astrapak's operations are grouped into two main plastics packaging segments - films and rigids - which mainly service food‚ beverage‚ personal care‚ pharmaceutical‚ agricultural‚ and industrial and retail markets.
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