Will make enough bricks for 60-70 houses per month
A factory to make eco-bricks (out of hemp) for the construction industry will start operating “by the end of the year” in Garvão, in the municipality of Ourique (Beja), it has been confirmed today.
Commercial director of Cânhamor, Frederico Barreiro, believes that “if all goes well”, the factory will start producing “by the end of this year”, creating “30 direct jobs”.
“Indirectly, there is an entire economy that will develop around the factory,” said the head of the company that has another factory in Colos, in the neighbouring municipality of Odemira.
The new factory will be on a 36,500 sq metre plot of land, donated by Ourique council, where the company will produce hemp building blocks (or bricks), considered to be “an ecological alternative” for civil construction.
“We are going to increase our production 30 times, that is to say, if at the moment we are capable of producing blocks for two houses a month, we will be able to produce 60 or 70” houses per month, said Barreiro.
Without revealing the investment foreseen, Cânhamor’s commercial director said that the company’s project is a continuation of the activity it already carries out in Colos to respond to a market that is “growing”.
“The construction sector has the problems it has related to its ecological footprint and carbon issues”, he said. “It is in this sense that we have taken this step”.
Cânhamor’s objective is mainly to service the national market, although it is looking at selling its bricks to Spain as well.
The Garvão factory, for example, will possess the “only Iberian hemp stripper” on the peninsula, which will allow for the separation of hemp, in which the fibre part can then be used in the textile sector.
With all this in mind, the company plans to encourage more local farmers to produce hemp for use in Cânhamor’s production units. The end plan being to “have a production process as ecological and local as possible“.
Frederico Barreiro also highlighted the fact that the company’s project is “unique” in the country. “It makes us extremely proud to be the only ones to bet in Portugal in this market, specifically in the Alentejo, which is generally a forgotten area in terms of investment”, he added.