A touch of Etex... at Etex's new plant in Brazil - 02/09/2015

In Brazil, the construction industry offers many opportunities for residential and non-residential building projects. Especially since Brazil has hosted and will be hosting prestigious mega events like the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the midst of all this activity, local Etex company Gypsum Drywall built a new plasterboard plant. And, in doing so, the company decided to walk the talk, by showcasing its own dry construction solutions “in situ” throughout the new facility.

A market on the rise

The Brazilian building market is experiencing steady growth: every year, around 400 million m² of residential and non-residential building projects are completed. A growing population and economy, increasing urbanisation and rising incomes are some of the reasons why the future looks promising for Brazil’s construction industry.

The numbers truly tell the tale. Today, there is a need for no fewer than 7.2 million housing units in Brazil. In addition, the Brazilian middle class has doubled in size over the past 10 years. It now totals 113 million people or 56% of the population of 200 million inhabitants. As a result, more and more people can afford and build their own homes. Needless to say that all of this could prove to be an opportunity for builders and fast construction providers alike.

South America’s largest plasterboard plant

Coinciding with its 20th anniversary in Brazil, local Etex company — and drywall pioneer — Gypsum Drywall set out to build a new plasterboard plant in Rio de Janeiro in 2014; in the Santa Cruz industrial district, to be precise. To fully capitalise on Brazil’s market potential, the facility is strategically located near the port of Itaguai and major highways.

It also boasts some impressive figures. For instance, the plant is the largest of its kind in South America in terms of annual production capacity. Starting from December 2015, 30 million m² of plasterboards will be leaving the plant every year. Backed by a plasterboard factory and a plaster and compounds plant in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, the Santa Cruz plant in the south will enable Gypsum Drywall to further strengthen its offering of drywall systems, while covering the entire country.

Practicing what we preach: dry construction

Drywall systems consist of an insulated timber or steel frame clad with building boards: no wet trades (like cement) are necessary. Easier to dismantle, 100% recyclable, enhanced insulation capabilities, better for the environment: dry construction has a wide range of benefits. No wonder Gypsum Drywall decided to include this building system — along with a range of other Etex solutions — in its own construction works.


In April 2014, the company started preparing the construction site. A few months later, in July, the construction works kicked off, including some products and systems from both Gypsum Drywall and other Etex companies.

Superboard, fibre cement boards from Etex’s Argentinian company, are implemented in some of the new plant’s façade panels. The factory’s constructive system consists of a metallic structure for roofing and cladding.

At the new plant, the office buildings are built entirely with drywall systems. The metallic structure includes internal partitions with Gypsum Drywall plasterboards. The external façade is clad with Superboard and Bluclad fibre cement boards.

The fact and figures behind the factory

  • Etex company: Gypsum Drywall

  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Construction period: July 2014 – September 2015

  • Operational: December 2015

  • Production: Plasterboards

  • Production capacity: 30 million m² per year

  • Investment: 60 million euro

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