Block supplies: some frequently asked questions

Q:        Why can’t I buy blocks?

A:         If you are one of our partner customers then you will have a supply agreement with us and we will be supplying you with blocks to order.  We prioritise our established customers and only sell with an established trading agreement. 

Q:        Is there a shortage of blocks?

A:         The increased volume of housebuilding has put pressure on manufacturers of most building products in the UK.  The three factories owned by H+H in the UK are currently producing a higher volume of blocks than at any time since 2003.

Q:        Is the shortage of fuel ash limiting the volume of blocks you can manufacture?

A:         No.  Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) comprises 70% of the volume of Celcon Blocks.  PFA is a by-product of coal fired power stations.  As power generation is switched away from coal power stations the supply of new ash diminishes.  At H+H we can use stockpiled fuel ash which is still readily available.

Q:        What is happening at the Borough Green Plant?

A:         We are making a major investment in our Borough Green Plant, one of three UK plants where Celcon Blocks are manufactured.  This plant has been producing aircrete blocks since the early 1990s and we will be replacing the majority of the working machinery in the plant.  We have been planning this project for over a year and when complete, it will be the most efficient producer of aircrete in Europe.

Q:        Does this mean that the plant will be shutting down?

A:         The plant will cease production in December 2017 and will be in operation again in April 2018.

Q:        Does this mean there will be no blocks available for four months?

A:         Absolutely not.  Careful planning has gone into the upgrade. We started to build stocks before Christmas 2016 and are continuing to do so throughout 2017.  During the shutdown period our customers will continue to receive their agreed allocation of blocks without interruption.

Q:        What does all this mean for the supply of aircrete blocks into the future?

A:         The level of investment in to the UK manufacturing operation by our Danish parent company is a very significant vote of confidence in the UK market and in the future of aircrete within that market. It is designed to ensure that high quality Celcon Blocks will continue to provide a mainstay for housebuilding in the UK for decades to come.