Building and products manufacturer Brickworks is set to restart its Cardup brick plant in the Shire of Serpentine and Jarrahdale.
Industry leaders are hoping the investment will increase job opportunities while stimulating the economy after a downturn in the building industry in recent years.
Managing director of Brickworks Lindsay Partridge said the commissioning and upgrade of the Cardup operation would provide a production capacity of 40 million bricks.
“The site is ideally located,” he said.
“It is sitting on shale and clay reserves that have a life expectancy of over 40 years.”
Mr Partridge said while numbers of people moving to WA were down, an increase in demand for building new premises will not improve until there is increased activity in the mining sector.
However, he remains positive the opening of the Cardup brick plant will maintain production capacity in WA.
“Low interest rates and housing affordability are positive signs for Western Australia,” he said.
“It could provide a small stimulus to drive increased building activity.”
Mr Partridge said the upgrade to the Cardup brick plant would include a partial rebuild of the existing kiln both internally and externally.
“The installation of a kiln gas emissions scrubber meets the state’s environmental guidelines,” he said.
“The upgrade will also include an extension to the existing plant building to house the new brick making machinery.
“It will also include the design and installation of a decoration line and brick setting and unloading machine including a fully automatic export packing line.”
The Cardup brick plant is set to improve quality, reliability and efficiency through the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology and reduce waste and energy usage.
Mr Partridge said the Cardup plant has been producing bricks since the late 1890s.
“The current upgrade will ensure that brick making continues at this site for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Local builder involved in residential building and renovations Peter Holmes said it was great to see the Cardup brick plant starting up again.
“It should create a lot of job opportunities for people in the area,” he said.
“Initially it won’t affect my business but as things pick up I should be able to utilise the products being supplied as I have done in the past.”