The first months of the new year of 2018 were devoted to the final factory design for Namibia. The orders and preparations for the delivery of the complete production plant occupied almost all employees. The moulds were manufactured in the factory in Gehlberg, work processes were developed according to ISO 9001 for Namibia and the necessary tests for the general building authority approval were carried out in cooperation with testing laboratories. After a successful special fire test, the approval for the SADC (South African Development Community) region was granted in May. As this approval was a condition for operation in Namibia, the shipment of the plant to Windhoek could only be organised in June. Customs formalities, payment delays on the Namibian side, coordination problems with the suppliers and bottlenecks on the freight routes then considerably delayed the shipment. The highlight of the difficulties was a sea container that did not land in Walfisbay but in Capetown and could not be cleared for weeks because of this erroneous route. It was not until September that the essential parts of the plant were finally on site and construction could begin. The commissioning also took longer than expected because the recipes had to be revised again due to changed raw materials and the new team had no previous knowledge of industrial production. Independent production was not possible until November. By the beginning of the “builders holidays” at the beginning of Dec. the Namibian team had almost completed the production of the first order of 11 houses for Mount Etjo.
Despite the clear focus of the Namibia project, there was further significant progress in research and development in the course of the year and also the worldwide sales took on further significant traits. The AIF III research project with the Bauhaus University Weimar, focusing on the use of natural materials for reinforcement, was completed in spring. At the end of the year Polycare received the grant for the research projects AIF IV and AIF V, which will be carried out in the course of the next two years with the Bauhaus University Weimar and the University of Applied Sciences Nordhausen. The aim of both research projects is to strengthen the recycling economy. Polycare has already taken a major step in this direction in the course of the year by using a novel polyester resin consisting of 38 % recycled PET bottles. A life cycle analysis based on this for the MAS technology then produced the sensational result that the emission values are around 60% lower than those of the conventional construction industry.
With the appointment of Dr. Fanchen Meng as Vice Chairman for Great China, another important step was taken towards opening up the Chinese Market for Polycare. Subsequently various contacts to Chinese companies and government institutions were established. The first orders from China included both Lumino and various test series with recycling material and residues. After participating in several Iraq conferences, Polycare starts a new project in the last quarter of the year, in which refugees from the civil war regions of the Middle East are trained in MAS technology on an experimental basis, so that they can later independently manage corresponding production facilities when rebuilding their homeland. Several visits to South Africa at the end of the year make it likely that the next production facility can be set up there.